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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Feb 01, 2017

FRHSD Presents Audit Report

By Nicholas Deckmejian

At the December 19 Freehold Regional High School District (FRHSD) Board of Education meeting, the district was given their annual audit report, presented by Mr. John Swisher of Suplee, Clooney & Company. The purpose of the report, as explained by the board, is to give assurance to the community that the financial statements they put forward are fairly presented. Superintendent Charles Sampson commented on the thoroughness of the review and praised the efforts of those who worked on completing it. “This is a $200 million operation,” he said. “An incredibly complex operation, but keeping our financial house in order is one of the district’s top priorities.”

The audit report is broken down into two reports. Mr. Swish explained that the first reports on certain areas of compliance, such as student services, food services, transportation, etc., and was happy to say that he had nothing out of the ordinary to report to the board, which attests to the good work of the financial department.

The second, larger report is, as Mr. Swisher puts it, “where all the numbers are. Hundreds of pages of numbers that I’m sure you’ve all committed to memory by now.” He took the time to mention that, with the dozens of districts he works with, the auditors typically play an active role in helping a district assemble their reports to be reviewed.  “I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and for the first time, I literally got everything cover-to-cover from the client. The business office was able to turn this report out in its entirety, which is a real credit. I have not yet had that done before, which is really excellent.”

Mr. Swisher explained that the best opinion an auditor can give is an unmodified opinion, which he was proud to submit to the district for yet another year. He also highlighted the district’s surplus, which he said reflected the good financial condition of the district, saying, “For many years in a row, the district keeps a solid and consistent surplus.” The board asked him what the ideal surplus should be for the district, and while he couldn’t provide an official amount specifically, he said it was his opinion that the district is “exactly where you want it to be.”