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School system receives clean audit

Beaufort County Schools received a clean audit report for the most recent fiscal year.

The accounting firm Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP presented the audit report to the school board Tuesday. No major findings were documented.

BCS Chief Financial Officer Willie Mack Carawan is preparing to retire, and he told the school board that he likely presented his final audit. He credited Assistant Finance Director Tammy Lewis for taking on a major role in the audit process.

“She was communicating with them on a regular basis for about a month and a half, just about every day,” Carawan said. “And I’m pleased that our team got another clean audit with no findings.”

The audit shows that the school system’s general and restricted revenues increased by approximately $82,000 over the previous year. A Golden LEAF grant boosted the restricted revenues by approximately $480,000, and that was offset by a decrease of roughly $390,000 in funding from the county. The district’s allocation from its largest funding source, the N.C. Public Schools Fund, is based on student enrollment numbers. The district’s intake from that fund decreased by approximately $82,000. Federal revenues increased by roughly $430,000.

The district’s combined general and restricted fund balance increased by $753,000, and the amount of money available for appropriation increased by $1.3 million.  The unassigned fund balance decreased by $83,000.

The audit also shows that 75% of the district’s expenditures went toward instructional services, and the rest was spent on operational services. Those numbers have remained almost identical over the past three years.

“For other boards that we’ve audited, we’ve noted a decrease in instructional spending due to additional support service calls in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, “ said Josh Puryear of Dixon Hughes Goodman. “The fact that this ratio hasn’t decreased, despite all the additional cost and changes related to the pandemic, is a testament to the board’s ability to ensure the most dollars possible are being spent on instructional services. “