For the third year in a row, Coffee County Schools have a squeaky clean audit.
Director of Schools Dr. LaDonna McFall congratulated her team for the lack of findings. Coffee County Schools Business Manager Lisa Myers said there was no secret to the system successful rounds of audits.
“There is no secret,” Myers revealed. “Just a vision with hard work and dedication. Dr. McFall set a goal for our school district to be more aware of our fiscal responsibilities at every level and to provide our board and system leadership timely financial reporting. She realizes the importance of every department working together under the ‘Team Coffee’ umbrella. Through Dr. McFall's leadership, we have a strong foundation to excel. All departments working together to achieve excellence is ultimately what is best for every student who attends Coffee County Schools.”
McFall agreed that there is no secret, only hard work to abide by state and federal laws.
Having zero findings in an audit means the school is keeping track of their finances in an organized, efficient and accurate manner.
“Fiscal responsibility is important when overseeing any budget,” Myers said. “We are very mindful of our responsibility because they are the dollars of the hard-working citizens of Coffee County. Working alongside Dr. McFall, every dollar budgeted and spent is carefully accounted for with the best interest of all students in mind. Being fiscally responsible means planning for the future.
“During Dr. McFall's tenure, we have also added $3.1 million to our fund balance, grown the budget only $1.7 million (mostly due to salary increases), given over 8.5 percent wage and salary increases with more for teacher assistants, cafeteria workers and janitors, budgeted over $500,000 for classroom and teacher furniture and increased funds for CTE projects which included industrial cleaning and painting of the vocational area this school year,” Mysers continued.
“I am very proud and excited to be a part of the Coffee County School System,” she concluded.
McFall summed up the achievement thusly: it means taxpayers can have confidence in how the school system handles their money.
A team effort
A successful audit is a team effort, McFall explained.
“We have a total budget of over $40 million dollars and governmental accounting provides numerous challenges that don't exist in private industry,” McFall said. “Mrs. Myers has done an excellent job streamlining processes and enhancing internal controls. We could not have accomplished any of our successes without her leadership and the excellent work of our finance office team.”
Myers, Janet Morgan, Janet Morgan, Stacy Booth, Melissa Todd and Christina Dotson were all mentioned by McFall as well.
“Lisa Myers provides excellent leadership and vision and leads a strong team of capable employees. Janet Morgan is the backbone of the department and her experience in payroll is unmatched. Janet Morgan is our benefits specialist and she works very well with our employees as they maneuver through the sometimes complicated world of insurance/retirement, etc.,” McFall said.
“Mrs. Stacy Booth takes care of our vendor accounts and also processes purchases orders, etc. Melissa Todd assists in payroll and benefits and is exceptional in her attention to detail. Finally, Christina Dotson works part time and supports accounts payable. These ladies are phenomenal. We also have worked hard to cross train our employees and to increase internal controls we have involved some employees outside of the finance office to ensure checks and balances are in place.”
Myers also named a few of her coworkers, including Kathy Farris, Hollyn Clark, Carlan Cotton, Katie Dorak and Amber Harris.
“I am so thankful to work with the staff of our finance department,” Myers said. “The common thread is they take pride in their work and are so responsible and dedicated. They are willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Each of them have unique gifts so as a team, they are extraordinary.
“I would like to also recognize Kathy Farris who retired last June,” Myers continued. “She had worked for the school system for almost forty years and was an integral part of the three years without findings. To keep our staff to a minimum, our receptionist Hollyn Clark, also took on more responsibilities in order for us to have the appropriate segregation of duties so she has been a very instrumental in making this achievement possible.”
“Food Service is also included in our audit. The director, Carlan Cotten and bookkeeper Katie Dorak do an excellent job maintaining the integrity of our Food Service Fund. We would also like to recognize Amber Harris, the previous bookkeeper, for her hard work before pursuing other employment opportunities,” Myers concluded.