Audit gives school district clean report

HARLINGEN — An independent audit shows the Harlingen school district has prepared its financial statements fair and accurately.

The firm Carr, Riggs and Ingram conducted the audit on the district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. That report consists of the financial statements which are sent to the Texas Education Agency each year. Carr, Riggs and Ingram conducted an independent review of those statements and reported its findings at a recent school board meeting.

“They do an annual audit of our financial statements and make sure that we are in compliance with whatever financial rules and regulations,” said Julio Cavazos, the school district’s chief financial officer.

“They make sure that our financials are presented fairly, that whatever we have in our books is true and correct,” Cavazos added. “They check that what we have recorded is actually correct. They do their review, they check our internal controls to make sure that we have policies and procedures in place to safeguard our assets. And it’s a thorough audit.”

Cavazos said the audit required about a month to complete.

“We are required to send this report to TEA (Texas Education Agency) by Jan. 28,” he said. “It was done here in December so it was done in time.”

Some of the figures examined by the auditors included the fund balance, which is about $36 million.

“We are in good financial condition,” he said. “There were no irregularities in our reporting.”

Other reports, he said, included the cash balance.

“They check with the financial institutions to make sure that what we have recorded as far as cash and investments is correct,” he said.

He elaborated by saying auditors ensured that bond payments and property taxes receivable were reported accurately.

“Our property tax revenue and our state revenues are recorded correctly,” he said. “They do a thorough audit of our books.”

Cavazos thanked his staff once again for doing a good job of properly preparing financial statements for the state.

“It’s about having the staff in place to make sure that we’re doing everything that we’re supposed to do ,” he said. “I have a staff with lots of experience in doing this. We have to be transparent to our taxpayers.”

WHAT IS IT?

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report includes numerous items related to the school district’s finances

Property tax collections

Compliance with federal programs

Expenditures in accordance with budget

Fund balance reserves

Debt service schedule — payment on outstanding bonds