Annual Financial Audit Reports
Once the books are closed for the school year, an independent auditor must conduct a final audit of the district’s financial records. The report must be presented at a public meeting along with any audit exceptions, recommendations or findings identified and a description of the actions that will be taken to address them. The audit provides important information with which to evaluate a district’s operations and its future financial health. Our office is responsible for reviewing the district’s audit, including audit exceptions, to ensure that adequate corrective plans have been developed.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Senate Bill 130 amended EC 41020, moving the 2020-21 audit dates as follows:
Audit Report Filing
In accordance with EC 41020(h), school districts and joint powers agencies (SELPA) are required to file the annual financial audit report for the preceding fiscal year with the Santa Barbara County Education Office (SBCEO), the State Controller’s Office (SCO), and the California Department of Education (CDE) by Jan. 31 (extended from Dec. 15).
In accordance with EC 47605(m), charter schools are required to submit a copy of their annual financial audit report for the preceding fiscal year to the chartering authority, SCO, CDE, and SBCEO by Jan. 31 of each year. This subdivision does not apply if the audit of the charter school is encompassed in the audit of the chartering entity pursuant to EC 41020 (EC 47605.6(m)).
Audit Extension Request: An extension of the annual audit report filing deadline may be granted only with the consent of the CDE and the SCO under extraordinary circumstances.
Audit Exit Conference
District Board Review
The governing board of each school district shall review the following at a public meeting: 1) the annual audit report, 2) audit exceptions, recommendations, or findings identified by the auditor, (including any management letters issued, and 3) a detailed written description of actions that have been (or will be) taken to correct audit exceptions and management letter issues, if applicable by Feb. 28 (extended from Jan. 31). Review of the annual audit report shall be placed on the board agenda of the meeting pursuant to EC §35145.
Our office reviews the audit exceptions in the annual LEA audit report along with any supplemental information presented to the board and determines whether each audit exception has been corrected or whether the LEA has developed an acceptable plan of correction. If a description of the correction or the plan of correction has not been provided as part of the audit, or is not adequate, our office will notify the district and request the governing board of the LEA to provide aditional information by Apr. 15 (extended from Mar. 15) pursuant to EC 41020(j)(2).
EC 41020(b)(3) requires that LEAs file their annual financial audit contracts for the upcoming fiscal year with our office by Apr. 1. To file your audit contract, please complete the Auditor Selection Form and return to SBAS along with a copy of your LEA’s current audit contract. If the governing board of an LEA is unable to make satisfactory arrangements for the annual financial audit prior to Apr. 1, the Education Code requires that our office provide for the audit and charge the district.