Lake County ROE No. 34's accounting standards reportedly lacking
An Illinois Auditor General report released recently in Springfield found that Regional Office of Education (ROE) No. 34 for Lake County lacked “sufficient internal controls" over financial reporting, fund accounting, journal entry management and expenditure reporting.
Specifically, generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) were not followed satisfactorily, the report said. “Management did not effectively detect all of the material adjustments … needed in order to present financial statements in accordance with GAAP,” the report said, adding that “This finding was first reported in 2010.”
Additionally, Auditor General Frank Mautino’s office revealed that ROE No. 34 didn't adequately control its fund accounting, satisfactorily review its journal entries, or produce an accurate expenditure report for the Illinois State Board of Education.
Lake County received $6.78 million in tax revenue in 2015, the audit said. It spent $6.11 million, of which $2.61 million (43 percent) was allotted to salaries and benefits, the report said.
Errors in fund accounting were partly attributable to ROE No. 34’s current changeover to new standardization methods. Regarding fund accounting, the Auditor General’s Office recommended that ROE No. 34 “assign a member of management with suitable skills, knowledge and experience to review its trial balance reports” regularly. Lake County education officials agreed to commit to ensuring that all holding accounts are cleared out, individual funds are self-balanced, opening fund-balance amounts are agreed to prior to period closing fund balance amounts, and balance-sheet accounts are reconciled.
For journal entries, Mautino’s office found no internal-control issues, but noted several areas in noncompliance with federal and/or state laws. “During Fiscal Year 2015, supporting documents for journal entries did not always include the written review and approval of someone other than the preparer,” the report said.
Finally, the audit said, "The final expenditure report for the McKinney Education for Homeless Children grant program was inaccurate…all categories were inaccurately reported," noting that the figures reflected final budget amounts, not actual amounts. “In total, grant expenditures incurred were in excess of the grant award.”
Winkel, Parker & Foster, CPA PC of Clinton, Iowa, prepared the audit.