Wichita Falls I.S.D. Annual Financial Audit Turns Up Several Issues

Wichita Falls independent School District officials have some problems to solve. The district's annual financial audit presented at a school board workshop this week.

According to school officials, the numbers are all right, but some of them are just not in the right place. It's a problem causing district staff a lot of headaches and if it can't be fixed, it could cost the district a lot of money.

WFISD underestimated the amount of revenue it would get from the state, leaving around half a million fewer dollars than expected in its fund balance.

The audit also found a lack of oversight in food services expenditures. But, the biggest problems stem from the district's new accounting software called teams.

Vice President of The WFISD Board of Trustees Bob Payton said "every penny has to come from a certain line item, a certain granting source, all of those things, and that all has to be right."

That isn't happening.

Payton said the issues related to teams contained in this year's audit have more to do with accounting than finance. All the money's there, it just may not be in the right place at the right time.

If left uncorrected, it could lead the state to lower the district's financial rating or could cost WFISD grant money.

"I don't think we're at that point at all yet. But it is a flag out there that we have to get these things taken care of," said Payton.

The software is meant to bring many different accounting areas together and allow that data to be shared with government entities. WFISD recently added payroll to the system.

"Payroll has been a catastrophe to try and implement. And the question is, do we continue or do we switch to something else," said Payton.

Changing systems could cost the district millions.

"We are standing with our horse 2/3 of the way across the stream. It's gonna be painful on us to go back or to keep going forward."

While Payton says this is concerning, he stresses the district's finances are in order.

"We know where all the money is, and it's all safe, and it's all being spent the right way. we feel very confident about that."

Payton said the district is withholding it's last payment to pro logic, the I.T. software vendor for teams. But, he says the company is working with WFISD to get these problems solved. Still, it may just be a matter of time, he says, before the district's accountants throw in the towel.

Payton said the food services oversight problem should be solved when the district brings in a new food services director. He also said the district has been able to add to it's fund balance over the past few years.

Tim Barnosky, Newschannel 6