The Texas Education Code (TEC) and other state statutes contain the legal requirements for public school finance, accounting, budgeting and reporting. For auditing the requirements are: Accounting documents and records must be audited annually by an independent auditor. Texas Education Agency (TEA) is charged with review of the independent audit of the local education agencies. The Auditing and Data Collection and Reporting modules of the FAR (Finance and Resource) Guide provides additional information regarding audits of school districts and financial report.
The purpose of the annual audit is identified by GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board) Concepts Statement Number 1 which states that accountability as the paramount objective of financial reporting by state and local governments. Accountability is based on the transfer of responsibility for resources or actions from the citizenry to another party, such as the management of the school district. Financial Reporting should communicate adequate information to user groups to enable them to access the performance of those parties that have been empowered to act in the place of the citizenry.
GASB Concepts Statement Number 1, paragraphs 3 and 4, describes financial reporting as follows:
Financial reporting is not an end in itself but is intended to provide information useful for many purposes. Financial reporting helps fulfill government’s duty to be publicly accountable. Financial reporting also helps to satisfy the needs of the users who have limited authority, ability, or resources to obtain information and who therefore rely on the reports as an important source of information. For that purpose, financial reporting objectives should consider the needs of users and the decisions they make.
Financial reporting is a means of communicating financial information to users. It encompasses all reports that contain financial information based on data generally found in financial statements. Financial reports and financial statements are end products of the reporting process. Certain information is better provided by financial statements; other information is better provided, or can only be provided, by financial reporting outside the financial statements. But financial reporting is not the only source of financial information about government entities. In many cases, users of financial reports also need to consult other sources to completely satisfy their information needs.
The primary users of a school district’s financial statements are:
Citizens of school district (taxpayers, voters, service recipients, media, advocate groups and public finance researchers
Direct representatives of the citizens such as legislatures and oversight bodies (state legislatures and school boards)
Investors and creditors (individual and institutional investors, bond rating agencies and intergovernmental grantors)
Financial reporting should primarily assist:
In fulfilling government’s duty to be publicly accountable and should enable users to assess that accountability
Users in evaluating the operating results of the governmental entity of a year
Users in assessing the level of services that can be provided by the governmental entity and its ability to meet its obligations as they become due.
***Links to audits for the last 5 years are placed at the bottom of this page. If no advisory comments are posted for a year, the audit firm did not select to make any advisory comments.***