The Toms River Regional school district has been honored for the fourth year in a row with a certificate for “excellence in financial reporting.”
The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) awarded Toms River schools with the certificate. ASBO International’s certification recognizes districts that have met the program’s “high standards for financial reporting and accountability.” The school district earned the Certificate of Excellence (COE) for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ended 2017.
In its congratulatory message to TRRS and Business Administrator William Doering, ASBO’s Manager of Recognition Programs Susan G. Lambert wrote, “Your participation in the COE program for the past 4 years is a testament to your district’s commitment to transparency and high-quality financial reporting.”
Such transparency was identified as a priority following a school board-issued community survey in 2013, and administrators have since made it the district’s mission to improve and perfect its fiscal reporting, ASBO officials said.
“It is fast becoming an annual ritual to announce this prestigious award, and I will certainly never tire of doing so,” said Superintendent David Healy. “Our business office deserves to be commended– Mr. Doering, Board Secretary and Director of Accounting Wendy Saxton, and their teams continue to do an outstanding job of tracking and reporting on every dollar that passes through this district. We pride ourselves on being excellent and responsible stewards of public funding, and this award is proof positive that we are achieving that goal each and every year.”
“This school district, our school district, has come a long way from the financial scandals of the past which so damaged the public’s trust,” said Board of Education President Russell Corby. “This recognition and award is a testimony to the value of having independent, ‘outside eyes’ review our current financial policies and practices. It is continuing testimony also to Superintendent Healy, Mr. Doering, and the Administration and Business Office’s tireless effort to get it right.”
By participating in the COE program, school districts demonstrate their commitment to financial transparency. Applicants submit their financial report for review by a team of professional auditors, who provide feedback to improve future documents. If the report meets the requirements of the program, the document may receive the Certificate of Excellence. A district’s participation in the COE program can facilitate bond rating and continuing bond disclosure processes.
“The COE’s mission is to promote and recognize excellence in financial reporting, specifically through a district’s CAFR,” ASBO International Executive Director John Musso said. “The CAFR informs parents and other stakeholders about the financial and economic state of the district, making it an important communications tool for building trust and engaging with the school community.”