BRADENTON -- When it comes to the Manatee School District's required comprehensive annual financial report, audit committee members would like the district to tout itself in the management discussion and analysis portion.
"It's a chance to beat your own chest," said audit committee member Harry Yaverbaum.
Corporations, like Disney, use their annual financial reports to get shareholders and investors excited about what happened in the last year and what's upcoming in the next year, like a marketing tool.
The dynamic isn't exactly the same for school districts and other government agencies, but it gives the district solid reliable information to use, audit committee member Rick Kimsey said.
"Everybody is then sing
ing from that," he said. "It is reliable information. You can't sneak stuff in there that's not factual."
The external auditors raised no major issues with the annual financial report, but had various recommendations for the district to continue to improve. District staff will create action plans.
Superintendent Diana Greene said stability among administrative staff in the district will help that piece grow in future years, since staff on hand will have been in the county when some positive changes have occurred.
"We can't put anything in there we can't back up," she said.
But Greene cautioned expanding the document would be useless if the district's financial practices weren't improving at the same time.
"If our practices are still poor, our improvement in writing it doesn't make us better," she said.
The comprehensive annual financial report is due to the school board for approval at the end of the month.
The fiscal year ended June 30, and left Manatee County with more than $17 million in the general fund balance and $11 million in the unrestricted fund balance. The balance is above the state-required minimum unrestricted district fund balance.
It's the second consecutive year the district reached the state requirement after missing the mark a few years in a row.
The board approved an unaudited annual financial report in November, and will look at the comprehensive annual financial report later this month..