LOCS has ‘the highest form of assurance’
By Megan Kelley
Lake Orion Community Schools received their annual audit from Plante Moran at the regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 19, receiving an “unmodified opinion” – the highest form of assurance.
Donna Hanson and Jenny Kolbow from Plante Moran joined the board via zoom to present the audit information on the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.
“We have audited the district’s financial statements in accordance with general accepted accounting principles and governmental auditing standards. As a result of our audit, we have issued an unmodified opinion on the district’s financials statements,” Hanson said. “This is the highest form of assurance we can provide as auditors to report that your district’s financial statements for the June 30, 2020 year…can be relied upon.”
According to Hanson, Plante Moran auditors did not note any control deficiencies or non-compliance items.
Hanson also highlighted the significant underfunding liability related to the multi-employer pension plan. This multi-employer pension plan amounted to a $167 million liability with the retiree health care portion totaling a $36 million liability for the district.
“The total liabilities at that statewide program plan, in total, the pension and the OPEB (other post-employment benefits) liability are around 40 billion dollars. So, this $167 million and $36 million is Lake Orion’s allocable portion of that total liability,” Hanson explained.
Plante Moran also audits and evaluates compliance with laws and regulations, including but not limited to, sinking fun and bond fund compliance, both of which, it was noted the district was in compliance.
LOCS also received an unmodified opinion on their federal program audit.
“The district continues to be a low-risk auditee. That means you have a historical track record of a positive audit result in your single audit realm,” said Hanson.
LOCS began the fiscal year on July 1, 2019 with $7,744,401 in their general fund. Factoring in expenditures, revenue and other financing sources, the district’s fund balance on June 30, 2020 was $6,824,793 or 8.1 percent of total expenditures and other uses.
As for the 2020-2021 school year, auditors at Plante Moran are anticipating continued uncertainty.
“As the pandemic continues on and the longevity of this emergency that we are in, it continues to create uncertainty around the funding at the state level. Not just with the state budget but how it translates to the school aid fund as well,” Hanson said.
Changes in federal funding are also expected to impact districts this year with Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF), Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER), childcare relief funds and others, Hanson said.