Complicated State Standards met with simplified methods

The story of how Union Public Schools Simplified their methods and still met complicated state standards. The end result was a methodology that allows their ongoing Financial Reporting process to be automatic, analyzed, and simplified.

The following is an account of Gray CPA’s work with the District as told by Cathy Bentley, CPA, Director of Financial Reporting and Treasury.

“Before Gray CPA Consulting…

We were doing everything in spreadsheets with a whole bunch of different files and worksheets. They were linked, but we were always struggling to keep everything in balance. We were actually cited by auditors for how manual the process was.”

Looking for a solution:

“We were looking for a way to produce statements in a more automated way and to be able to analyze them. We looked at several solutions, but CaseWare had the best feature set. Having actual government accounting experts as an implementor was a huge selling point.”

School District Struggles:

“School districts are in a unique position in that we have a conflict with state laws and standards of excellence from GFOA and ASBO. In Oklahoma, the State also uses every reporting requirement from the Federal Red book as well. As a result, we had extremely complex accounting structures as well as overwhelming reporting requirements.

"Gray CPA’s showed us a better way to account and saved us a lot of time…

… by utilizing grouping instead of mapping. Their team showed us many tips and tricks for accommodating external demands while minimizing our own efforts. With over 185,000 accounts, we needed Gray CPAs to help us come up with a more manageable process.”

Bridging the Gap Between Auditor and Client:

Our External Auditors will not produce our statements because they believe strongly that it would hamper their auditor independence. Our workflow used to be reactionary. We would do our best and then make countless changes based on Auditor Comments.
We now have a solution that meets the standards and has the work papers our auditors look for without having to be asked. Gray CPA’s team is very knowledgeable and they keep up to date with all the new GASB standards. They also have more of a business perspective than our auditors.”

Above and Beyond

“Gray CPA’s worked unbelievably hard for us in our times of crisis. Their team was extremely responsive when we needed them. Even when times are slow and we are not focused, their team is there pushing us to move forward and accomplish our goals.”

Feeling Accomplished:

“Our Government-Wide Reconciliations are particularly tricky. This year is the very first time we have ever been able to be fully reconciled without discrepancies and it is a fantastic feeling. We are looking forward to being able to produce next year’s CAFR with a well-balanced database.

Shout Outs:

Cathy would like to thank the following people for

Union Public School’s Success:

Our team at Union Public Schools, including Jessica and Becky

CaseWare International

the whole team at Gray CPA Consulting Gail, for her expertise

Jordan for his responsive service

Matt for his fast formatting work

Here is to an even better CAFR season Next Year!

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