Financial management software to be updated by district
The completion of a recent forensic analysis of Lake Havasu Unified School District financial records indicates there were discrepancies in the cash reconciliations between the district and balances recorded at the Mohave County Educational Service Center.
Although the variances only signaled that the figures between the district and the county were different, with the proper amount of cash in the bank and all bills paid by LHUSD, at one point the records were as much as $1.6 million off.
During the audit, conducted by Phoenix-based Simon Consulting, LHUSD was aware of the variances and worked to reconcile all but approximately $30,000. District officials say this was not lost money, but evidence of clerical errors.
“Our office went back five years and that’s where we discovered liabilities still hanging out there and pending which typically should clear,” said Michael Murray, LHUSD director of business services. “If there is a liability and a check is issued and the check clears the liability should drop off but it never did.”
The primary culprit is the current software the district uses to record financial transactions and how it interfaces with the county’s software.
“There was some duplication within the software system,” Murray said. “Simon suggested that (we) want to consider evaluating the cost benefit of a change in the financial software utilized by the district.”
Currently, the Mohave County Educational Service Center and the treasurer’s office, along with most school districts in the state, use Infinite Visions financial management software.
“By utilizing Visions, LHUSD would likely recognize operational efficiencies in account with the county and the treasurer’s office,” Murray said.
Systems controls exist within Visions that would likely prevent many of the reconciliation challenges LHUSD faces with it current software suit, Murray added.
“By going with what the county is using we will be able to drop files within our system, whereas now we can’t,” Murray said. “This is no sharing of information. Now we believe we have everything in place to do a full reconciliation.”
The district is proceeding with the software change with a projected start date of July 1. After installation and training costs, the transition from SunGard to Visions is anticipated to save LHUSD more than $100,000 annually.