[For Immediate Release] The Peace River School Division Board of Trustees have unanimously approved the 2023 Audited Financial Statements.
The Board held a special meeting on November 23 at 9 a.m. with five members of the board in attendance. Two representatives from MNP LLP, the Division’s auditors, attended the meeting to present the audited financial statements to the Board.
In the past, an audit committee, inclusive of members of the public, reviewed the audited financial statements. However, it was reported by Secretary/Treasurer Rhonda Freeman at the October Board meeting that the PRSD had been unsuccessful in recruiting members of the public to sit on this committee. Combining this with the addition of a new accounting practice requiring the PRSD to implement asset retirement obligation (ARO) standards, Freeman said she felt it would be beneficial this year for the auditors to present the audited financial statements to the entire Board of Trustees instead of the audit committee.
Following the auditor’s presentation, the Board of Trustees had the opportunity to ask questions. Freeman also provided a brief summary of information that helped form the audited financial statements. She reminded the board that the 2022-2023 year end was also the first year that excess operating reserves could be recovered by Alberta Education to ensure funding is aligned with the changing needs of school jurisdictions across the province. The PRSD’s allowable operating reserves is just over $2.4 million.
“There is a mechanism in place that we can write for permission to allocate extra to the capital reserves to reduce the operating reserves. I’ve always said in the past that I didn’t feel it was appropriate to arbitrarily allocate money to capital reserves unless there’s a purpose,” Freeman said. “But I am going to make a request because we know that with the new Manning School build and the CTS Bus Garage that we have a promise to contribute some money out of capital reserves. We’re also working with Red Earth Creek on a plan for a new school right now, and I anticipate that we’re going to get the same request from the Alberta Government in order to have appropriate CTS space.”
By transferring $335,000 from operating to capital reserves, the Division will meet the operating reserve cap, and the Government of Alberta will not take any funds back from the PRSD.
During the 2022-2023 budget discussions, the Board of Trustees approved a deficit budget of $771,259. However, the actual 2023 budget, as shown in the approved audited financial statements, had a $300,587 surplus. One of the reasons for the surplus, explained Freeman, is that the Division had almost $335,000 in revenue from the disposal of capital assets that was not accounted for in the budget. The PRSD also received government grants for learning interruptions, curriculum implementation and fuel that were not accounted for in the original 2023 funding profiles.
Additionally, the PRSD experienced some savings on budgeted expenses. The 2022-2023 winter was fairly mild, and the PRSD did not spend what they anticipated to spend on heating their school buildings. The Division’s insurance costs came in lower than budgeted and staffing challenges also impacted the budget as the PRSD was not able to complete their September 2022 staffing until May 2023.
Click HERE to view the approved audited financial statements, now available on the PRSD website.
For more information:
780-624-3650 ext 10154