Friday, April 2, 2010

Decatur Schools Audit Shows Sloppy Bookkeeping

The State Board of Accounts audit of MSD Decatur Township's books, covering the two year period from July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2009, has now been completed and published on the SBOA website.

Thankfully for all Decatur taxpayers, the District did not buy any more property during this audit period, dramatically reducing the length of the audit findings.

The audit finds that the bookkeeping was sloppy enough that at no time during that two year period did the District's books match the bank statements. The audit mentions this in two places and they are quoted here:

The following deficiencies relating to the recordkeeping were noted. A similar comment appeared in prior Report B32087.

Bank Reconcilements were attempted monthly, but the bank balance did not equal the record balance for any month during the audit period. Differences varied from $27,208.35 long to $33,699.74 short (cash necessary to balance).

Numerous corrections and adjustments were made in the records by use of negative entries.


The monthly depository reconciliations of the fund balances to the bank account balances were incorrect during most of the audit period. The monthly reconcilements are showing significant cash necessary to balance from September 2008 until the present. Each month's reconcilement is off by a different amount.

Controls over the reconcilement were insufficient. The reconcilements are performed by the deputy treasurer and are not regularly reviewed in detail by management. The deputy treasurer makes most of the posting entries so there is also a lack of segregation of duties.

The School Corporation should devote more resources to resolving the short and performing the monthly bank reconcilements. We recommended that another employer or member of management aside from the deputy treasurer be involved with the reconcilements on a monthly basis. The monthly bank reconcilements should be reviewed by management.

Governmental units should have internal controls in effect which provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial information and records, effectiveness and efficiency of operations, proper execution of management's objectives, and compliance with laws and regulations. Among other things, segregation of duties, safeguarding controls over cash and all other assets and all forms of information processing are necessary for proper internal control.

Controls over the receipting, disbursing, recording, and accounting for the financial activities are necessary to avoid substantial risk of invalid transactions, inaccurate records and financial statements and incorrect decision making. (Accounting and Uniform Compliance Guidelines Manual for Indiana Public School Corporations, Chapter 9)

IC 5-13-6-1(e) states: "All local investment officers shall reconcile at least monthly the balance of public funds, as disclosed by the records of the local officers, with the balance statements provided by the respective depositories."

The schools response, which is always included in these audits but never reviewed by anyone for sense or nonsense, states the following:

Since the monthly depository reconciliations of the fund balances to the bank account balances were incorrect during most of the audit period, we are going to implement the following controls;

1. We will research all records to bring account balances up to date and reconciled.

2. We will devote more resources to resolving the shortage and performing the monthly bank reconcilements. We will have another employee or member of management, aside from the deputy treasurer, be involved with the monthly reconcilements. Each month, the Chief Financial Officer will approve the reconciliation.

We feel that these improvements will help control the accuracy of receipting, disbursing, recording, and accounting procedures.

No name is shown as signing this response.

Two questions arise - how good a job could Jeff Baer have been doing that the books never matched the bank statements during the two year audit period - and they 'fixed' it by just changing the books to match without finding the source of the errors ("Numerous corrections and adjustments were made in the records by use of negative entries")? And, why did it take the SBOA audit to get such a basic flaw recognized and a plan created to actually fix it?

Unbelievable !


Anonymous said...

MORE proof that this School Board and Stinson and crew have to go! Troublemakers like Cathy Wiseman shold be held accountable for what they've done to our Township! GO TO THE SCHOOL BOARD MEETING on APRIL 13th! Even if you don't speak GO! Show them that we've had enough of these trouble makers like Cathy Wiseman! No excuses for not going to the Board meeting on the 13th! Since we can't kick Wiseman off the board, don't vote for her! Wouldn't it be funny if she got ONE vote; her own? Then in 2012 we get rid of Huffman. Jury is still out on Greenwald.....

Anonymous said...

Again? How many years do you get to be sloppy before you get in trouble?

Anonymous said...

The failure to reconcile these books on a monthy basis is the same as an individual not balancing their checking account on a monthly basis - there is an error somewhere and until the books are balanced (reconciled) we don't know the error.

Someone needs to read this part of the State Board of Accounts audit out loud at the April 13 board meeting - could help get new board members elected if nothing else.

Surprising that Blessing's daughter now works in payroll - assume she must be more accurate. Who was responsible for hiring a second person in payroll???? Jeff Baer?????? Don Stinson?????

Just think how much we pay Jeff Baer!! No other school system's audit reported a lack of reconciliation like this!!!!!!!!

The Decatur financial mess is a very dirty house.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 10:48 - the Administration is SUPPOSED to be accountable to the School Board. And the School Board IS accountable to the voting public. The deadline to register to vote is Monday - so folks need to make sure they can vote and get registered ASAP.

I'm with anon 10:41 and others, who say, don't vote for Cathy Wiseman, even though she is unopposed. Just vote for the two challengers. That way the difference in the vote counts will send a clear message that the Township demands the School District change its ways.

Anonymous said...

I have an unanswered question from a previous topic. I am registered to vote but haven't recently. How do I find out where to vote? Is there a website or something I can check to see if I'm still registered? Also, the new canidates. I haven't heard anything from or about them - just know their names. Do they have a website or blog where we can get to know them and read their views/ideas for change? Also, I was at the March board meeting - what a joke. They don't answer any of your questions. If you have a question half way through the meeting about something - you can't ask it. Very frustrating.

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 11:22 - the voting location app on the Election Board website still isn't activated for the May 4 election. So, you should call Voter Registration at 327-5040 and ask if you are actually registered.

I have posted information about Natalie Coffey and have info to post on Bobby Hire that I was going to post today - but the audit was available. Look for that over the weekend. Other than that, I don't know of any website for their campaigns.

And, as to your last point, I do think that the school board meeting should allow for public comment after the board discussion of each issue on which they will be voting, but before they vote. Then the comments can be as pertinent as possible.

Anonymous said...

The financial gaps in the Decatur School accounting shows Don Stinson and the School Board's plan known as "You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" has been in place for some time now. Stinson,while robbing the taxpayers blind, was busy making sure his retirement was well funded along with Jeff Baer, his Wife Candi , Susan Adams, and those crooks in Central Office. He has made illegal deals with businesses associated with Board Members. He has given promotions and raises to his cronies in the school district at the expense of Taxpayers. The School Board works at the WILL of the Superintendent than the opposite. The Board School Members need to be held accountable for their actions. They have underfunded the schools in Decatur resulting in layoffs.

Anonymous said...




All 3?

The township is paying a premium for such sloppy work. This is not acceptable.

Anonymous said...

"A comparison of the records to the bank account indicated a cash necessary to balance of $30,705.27 at June 30, 2009."

"At all times, the manual and/or computerized records, subsidiary ledgers, control ledger, and reconciled bank balance should agree. If the reconciled bank balance is less than the subsidiary or control ledgers, then the responsible official or employee MAY BE HELD PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for the amount needed to balance the fund. "

So, does this mean Baer could be on the line?

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 4:52 -- while that makes some sense, I really do not know. The only audits I've seen where they recommend that the person should actually pay the discrepancy out of their own pocket, it has been a much smaller fund where there weren't layers of authority.

Anonymous said...

Diamond Don refers to this blog as like Jerry Springer. Well, most know that Springer's TV show is kind of a carnival for entertainment. The facts of the fiscal mess in Decatur are not funny and are not entertaining. The superintendent is just trying with his Springer comment to divert the problem. At least, I am assuming that he does not think this sloppy bookkeeping is funny. I do think he has given no reason for taxpayers to think he is concerned about this sloppy bookkeeping. Is this part of Susan Adams' new assignment to supervise the business department? Stinson has no one to blame but himself - that probably won't happern. In the meantime, the big house gets dirtier and dirtier.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:52: And you keep letting them get away with it.

Anonymous said...

The RESIDENTS in decatur has been letting them get away with it.

Had Enough Indy? said...

The School Board members were really the only ones in a position to know and who had a responsibility to make the District function in a professional manner.

The residents are just finding out about it all.

Anonymous said...

Anyone going to the next Board Meeting should make a shirt with:
1+1=3 or 2+3=4 or 5+1=9 & so on.
Just make sure the math is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:49: No one will do that because there will only be about a dozen or so at the meeting. No one cares. All talk.

Anonymous said...

It is time for people to go to the meeting and talk. No questions. Give the facts - state the facts. The board has made it clear - they won't answer questions. OK - state the facts. If the board and superintendent become emotional - so be it. State the facts. The money is PUBLIC funds and the public has the right to state the facts.

Anonymous said...

How do you lose $30,000 and not be able to find it?For two years? Come on now, where did this money go? Maybe into someones pocket?If you worked anywhere else and were in charge of balancing the books and couldn't find $30,000 the police and attorney generals office would have already been involved. Where is this money????
Someone needs to be held accountable!!!!

Anonymous said...

Why don't they go to jail....misuse of public funds....the school board won't do anything they are part of the problem. What can the State Board of Accounts or the Attorney General do to stop these "mistakes"?

Anonymous said...

Why have an audit if the recommendation is have another insider check the books....duh?

Had Enough Indy? said...

I actually doubt any money was taken. But, it is highly unprofessional for a CFO to not be able to account for every penny that runs through the books. Somebody should go back through and find all the errors and then make sure the bank statements and the fund accounts all balance each and every month.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money, you'll find more greed that leads to all of the retirement funds "Gold Parachutes" for Don Stinson, Jeff Baer, Candi Baer, Susan Adams, Gary Pellico, those thieves in Central Office, Oh, don't forget those Swindlers on the School Board.

Anonymous said...

There are so many unprofessional instances regarding budget and financial matters. With this sloppy bookkeeping thing the board has every reason to immediately make revisions in the superintendent's next contract to begin July 1, 2010. Blessing has gotten rid of more than one person in the business department. She needs to be removed as deputy treasurer. The list goes on and on but until this board says enough is enough it will just continue to happen. When will the public know the terms of Jeff Baer's retirement package???????? These kinds of things are not personal - they have to do with performance and his is unprofessional performance that is an embarassment to Decatur.

Anonymous said...

Does the board understand why there is no trust for board and administration in the school district. Lack of trust is sufficient reason to ask for the voluntary resignation of several administrators. If they don't voluntarily resign then the board can fire them. Either a new board must be elected or Decatur can become a state controlled schoo - either way things will get better.

Anonymous said...

This does not surprise me one bit. How in the world can ANYONE in this township expect to progress its school system with a bunch of good ole boys running the show. This is the same type of stuff that allowed the person in Warren Township to committ fraud and steal thousands of dollars from the books.
Stinson is a complete moron who should be fired over the decisions such as DILC, the West Newton expansion and the failing schools in NCLB.
I live in Heartland Crossing and can tell you that I am completely proturbed over this school board. How can Stinson and the school board fail to understand the growth pattern in this township. The Southwest part of the township has been and will continue to be the largest and fastest growing sector, YET still has no school. Our kids are trucked to West Newton. If you child is nin KG then they have to endure a stop at west newton and then a stop at the ECC. Next year it will be even more of a trek for them.
If my child has to attend any other school than West Newton next year...I will enroll them into Plainfield schools and then potentially file a class action law suit against the mismanagement by the Superintendant. The schools have gone downhill. Now we have such a beautiful high school and intermediate school....with no teachers and failing NCLB stats. Wow....its like putting lipstick on a's pretty...but its still a pig. Thanks Stinson.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:52: It's Cathy Wiseman that's made all this mess. She's a HUGE trouble maker! VOTE HER OUT!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:52 - I disagree. One person alone could not have made this entire mess.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:52 It was not just Cathy Wiseman. It was also Don Stinson, Jeff Baer, Don Henson, Don Huffman, Judy Collins and Doug Greenwald (but not as much). These board members are the ones who rubber stamp everything without even reading. Don and Jeff make them feel like they really value them and they are all stupid enough to think that these guys would never use them. If making names for themselves was the goal, these people should be very proud.