ACS retains highest audit rating

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – For the sixth-consecutive year, the Alabaster City School System has earned the highest possible opinion on its finances from a Birmingham-based independent auditing company, a representative from the firm told School Board members during a May 13 meeting.

During the meeting, Jason Carr with the Carr, Riggs and Ingram CPA and Advisors firm presented the results of its audit of the school system, and gave ACS its highest-possible opinion: Unqualified. The opinion has remained unchanged each year the school system has been in existence.

“We’re issuing what we call an unmodified audit opinion, which is the highest opinion you can get and certainly what you would expect,” Carr said.

The school system is required by law to have an external independent audit performed each year. During the audit, the company met with ACS leaders such as Chief School Financial Officer Lauren Butts, and reviewed the system’s financial records.

According to the audit summary presented by Carr, Riggs and Ingram, ACS correctly documented and accounted for all of its financial actions throughout the 2018 fiscal year, which ended in September of last year.

In its report, the company said the school system cooperated fully with the audit, and said ACS’ financial situation is strong.

“General fund balance as of Sept. 30, 2018, was about $5.8 million. By my calculations, that results in an excess of 50 days of operating reserve,” Carr said. “It has to be 30 days, so you’re well over that. As time goes on, the rules get more complicated, and every year the finance department has more and more they have to keep up with, and I think they do a great job of that.”

Carr thanked previous ACS Chief Financial Officer Linda Agee and Butts for providing the firm with the information it needed to complete the audit.

“We certainly appreciate Mrs. Agee’s hard work and efforts over the years. She did a great job, and you have a wonderful finance department, and you certainly have a very good new chief school financial officer,” Carr said.