St. Tammany Parish School Board is committed to accountability and transparency for the local, state, and federal funds that are received. The School Board has provided easy access on this page to the budgets, the annual financial statement, and monthly financial statements. The School Board has also included an online checkbook which indicates all expenditures made by the school district.
The Finance Department is responsible for accounting, purchasing, payroll, school accounting monitoring, financial reporting, budgeting, and district wide internal control and compliance monitoring. All finances of the School Board are maintained according to School Board policies and governmental generally accepted accounting standards.
The St. Tammany Parish School Board has a bond rating of AA which is issued by the Standard & Poor’s Rating Services. Very few school systems in Louisiana have a AA rating, and no school system in Louisiana has a higher rating. This high credit rating allows the School Board to continue to save millions of dollars in interest costs on bonds. The savings in interest costs results in substantial savings to property taxpayers.
- Finance Department Roles and Leadership
- Written Policies and Procedures
- Financial Integrity
- Segregation of Duties
- Purpose and Mission
- Authorization and Approval
- Physical Controls
- Record Keeping
- School Credit Cards
- Purchasing and Disbursement Controls
- Payroll Controls with Multi-Level Verification
- Monitoring of School Activity by Finance
- Controls in Schools
- Audits and Oversight of District
Chief Financial Officer
- Leads team of 20 employees in six financial areas
- Responsible for district budgets approximating $625 million
- Administers all fiscal operations
- Monitors and maintains fiscal controls ensuring unqualified audit reports
- Accounts Payable - Supervisor Joann Miller with five accounting employees
- Verification and processing of approximately 1,200 invoices per week
- Pays approximately 6,000 vendors annually
- Accounts Receivable
- Grant administration
- Processing and accounting for all revenues approximating $578 million
- Legal compliance with public bid law, federal, state and local regulations
- Determines and executes proper procurement methods: Bids, RFP's, Requisition and Purchase Order Process
- Contract Management
- Exercises and ensures proper controls to prevent collusive practices
- Supervision of two purchasing employees
- Six payroll employees
- Process payroll for approximately 6,500 employees (largest parish employer)
- Ensures compliance with federal, state and local laws
School Accounting Supervisor
- Oversight of 55 schools accounting functions
- Supervision of school accounting clerk
- Ensures compliance with Louisiana Revised Statutes through daily monitoring
Policies and procedures provide written instruction educating and documenting controls over all areas of financial management and compliance.
Board Approved Financial Policies and Internal Control Manual
- Updated and audited annually or as needed to establish written financial policies and internal control procedures
- Administrative Guidelines and Best Business Practices for School Activity Fund Accounting
- Updated annually and as needed to establish policy and provide reference for administrators, bookkeepers, and administrative staff on financial matters
- Annually, training is provided and updated handbooks are distributed to all administrators and bookkeepers
- All monies are public in nature and maintained in accordance with policies and Governmental Generally Accepted Accounting Standards (GAAS)
- Maintain AA Bond Rating issued by Standing & Poor's Rating Service
- Committed to maintain transparency and accountability
- Convenient access to budgets, monthly and annual audited financial statements, and online checkbook on STPSB website
Responsibilities and access are divided amongst two or more persons to reduce the risk of error or inappropriate actions.
- Anyone authorized to make payments is not authorized to add or modify vendors
- Multiple levels of document collection, verification, compliance checks and supervisor approval for all areas of finance
- Anyone entering or reconciling bank accounts in finance is not allowed to handle cash or checks
- Multi-electronic and manual approvals processes exist for requisition approval, accounting entries, and invoices
- Information Technology department controls and maintains software permissions
Financial decisions and expenditures shall be mission driven for educational purposes and always linked to the students.
Reduce or Eliminate Opportunity
Identify any action that could benefit someone personally or professionally that could be accomplished without getting caught.
Clearly Defined Responsibility
Principals and administrators are tasked with understanding financial limitations and setting goals to formulate strong financial management strategies including budget oversight.
Transactions should be performed and approved by persons with the appropriate authority and knowledge.
- Restrict Access - Access to files, assets or technology not provided unless needed
- Fundraising - Prior to engaging in fundraising activity, schools must outline intended use of funds and gain written approval from administration
- Strict policy for collection and distribution of funds
- Contracts under $5,000 may be signed by principals. All others must be signed by the superintendent. Contracts are reviewed by multiple individuals including the CFO and attorney on contracts over $30,000.
- Multiple layers of electronic approvals for requisitions/purchase orders
- All expenditures require written or electronic approval by the immediate supervisor of the person requesting the expenditure. For the Superintendent, the Board President approves his expenditures.
Equipment, cash, checks and other assets shall be physically secured, periodically inventoried and compared with control records to protect financial assets.
- Property Management
- Inventory all assets every two years
- Designated employees with responsibility over assigned property
- Tag equipment
- Disposal in accordance with law/policy
- Secure Safe
- Limited access to entry code
- Store checkbook, credit card, cash under $1,000, small valuables such as stamps
Promptly report any loss of funds to finance and the administration
- Year-to-Date Budget Reports
- Must be reviewed by bookkeeper and principal periodically to verify accuracy and completeness
- Schools must maintain separate ledgers
- Each club, organization, association, class, athletic team or other organization unit
- Each donation which must be designated for specific use
- Any school-wide fundraising effort
- Any identified money source approved by the principal
- Year-to-Date Budget Reports
- Are reviewed by administration and their staff periodically to verify accuracy and completeness of their budgets
- Finance Department reviews all year-to-date budget reports on a weekly basis. Budgets are entered in software and block purchases once the budget is met.
Cross-checking transactions to ensure the information reported is accurate and matches activity:
- School account and central office bank statements reconciled to supporting documentation monthly
- School bank and credit cards statements must be signed by principal upon receipt, then by the bookkeeper following reconciliation. Central office credit card statements must be reviewed by the card holder and detailed invoices along with statement are provided to Finance Department for reconciliation monthly.
- Schools send signed and balanced reconciliations including credit card statements to Finance for additional verification
- Schools - Quarterly or upon request, reconciliation reports are to be reconciled against withdrawals and deposit receipts by account sponsor
- School principals and an additional member shall perform a year-to-date review. Both parties shall sign and send to Central Office for additional verification.
- Same procedures as disbursement of checks
- Pre-approved on a Purchase Request Form including estimate and purpose
- Authorized by two signatures, one being the Principal
- Documented with an original receipt
- Recorded in financial software
- Credit card log is utilized and cards are signed in and out
- Credit cards are secured in school safe when not in use
- Finance department oversees and manages the school credit cards
- Follow existing purchasing guidelines regarding establishment of vendors, dollar thresholds, meal limits, totals for combined purchase of "like" items
- Multi-level purchase approvals ensuring appropriate purchase and compliance
- Unique but sequential computer generated purchase order numbers
- Additional layers of approvals prior to payment including verification goods/services were received and accountant verification
- Strict purchasing thresholds requiring multiple competitive quotations, sealed bids, or RFP's
- Restrict access - access to files, assets, or technology not provided unless needed
- Contracts are reviewed by multiple individuals including the CFO and attorney for contracts over $30,000. Principals may sign certain contracts under $5,000. All other contracts must be signed by the superintendent.
- Purchases not made on purchase order must be approved by supervisor prior to payment
- All expenditures require written or electronic approval by the immediate supervisor of the person requesting the expenditure. For the superintendent, the board president approves his expenditures.
- Clerks calculate wages, performs review of substitute and absence attendance entries. Only the accountant or supervisor can make adjustments to discrepancies and verifies prior to posting payroll.
- Multiple clerks review proofs against timesheets/memos and pay changes. Accountant performs additional verification on all changes exceeding $5,000.
- Accountant runs error reports and completes final review prior to finalizing payroll
- Supervisor reviews all gross items exceeding $5,000, accrual overage report, payroll error report, deduction omitted report, employee's docked pay rates, retirement deductions, severance pay
- Accountant balances and then supervisor balances pay to salary records, employee identification numbers, deductions, retirement and taxable wages
- Supervisor must approve payroll before final processing, execute payroll advices and ACH files
- Chief Accountant must review pay distribution detail and make any modifications. CFO and Supervisor of Payroll sign off on final payroll runs.
- Review all credit card purchases for prohibited transactions and fraud
- Workflow approval for all Amazon requests to ensure compliance
- Prior to engaging in school fundraising activity, schools must outline intended use of funds and obtain approval from Finance and Administration
- Review bank reconciliations:
- Accuracy of accounting
- Pre-approval of purchases
- Statutory required signatures
- Required documentation in MUNIS
- Timely deposits
- Ensure no cash being held on campus
- No employee check cashing
Random Deep Dive Review
- 3-5 schools each month
- All receipts and disbursement transactions for completeness and compliance with laws and policies outlines in the Financial Handbook
Principal must approve all purchases and checks issued documented by signature.
Principals, bookkeepers, and all school employees must follow all the internal controls and required procedures in the School Finance Handbook developed by Finance. All school employees must certify each fall that they have read the handbook and will comply with it.
- When cash reaches $1,000
- Last day of the week
- Before a holiday
- By bookkeeeper
- By the first person to receive funds
- Annual External Audit with the auditors approved by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor
- Internal Auditor audits schools and quarterly audits General Fund revenues, disbursements, credit carts, and bank reconciliations
- Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) annually reviews all federal and state grants that pass through the LDOE to school districts
- Federal agencies conduct periodic reviews of internal controls, compliance, and federal grant expenditures
- Louisiana Legislative Auditor is the oversight for all governmental agencies in the state. They annually evaluate internal controls for all agencies.
- Louisiana Legislative Auditor requires "State Agreed Upon Procedures" annually. This is in addition to the annual audit.
Any taxpayer who has questions, concerns, or suggestions should contact Terri Prevost at (985) 898-3217 or email@example.com.