A Microsoft Word version of this letter is available for download and PRINTING.
January 4, 2010
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Update 14 to the Financial Accountability System Resource Guide
This letter is to communicate that the Financial Accountability System Resource Guide (Resource Guide) published by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) was amended to implement revisions to the financial accountability standards in accordance with bills passed during the 81st Legislature, Regular Session, and to implement other necessary revisions to the Resource Guide. Please review the What’s New module for a quick review of changes made throughout the Resource Guide. Note that this is the preliminary version and will become final, pending any changes over the public comment period after publication in the Texas Register.
Resource Guide link:
The most notable differences relate to:
American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
While most changes in the Resource Guide result from the addition of fund codes to track new fund codes, additional requirements are posted on the TEA web site due to the changing nature. The main financial-related impact on schools is the detailed tracking of ARRA funds and the increased possibility of being required to have a Single Audit performed if more than $500,000 in federal funds is expended. Schools should plan for the additional audit expense if this threshold is reached. Auditors should note that there is an addendum to the March 2009 Compliance Supplement to expand on any ARRA program implications.
House Bill 987 raised the threshold on competitive procurement from $25,000 to $50,000; therefore, changes have been made throughout the Resource Guide to reflect this.
High School Allotment
As a result of new legislation, the high school allotment was moved into Tier I funding, and now is tracked similar to other allotments such as gifted and talented, bilingual, etc. These funds will be tracked in the general fund (fund 199 for ISD, fund 420 for charter school) in the future along with the new High School Allotment program intent code number 31.
FSP Indirect Cost Rate
The indirect cost rate on Foundation School Program (FSP) special program allotments was changed from 15% to 45% for state compensatory education, special education, bilingual special languages and gifted/talented programs; and from 10% to 40% for career and technical education.
With the increase in funding with the ARRA funds, the school should ensure that only authorized users have access to the accounting systems. An unsecure accounting system could lead to unauthorized users accessing the school’s accounting system and jeopardizing the ARRA and other school funds.
Mileage Change Effective 1/1/2010
Effective January 1, 2010, the automobile mileage reimbursement rate (in-state and out-of-state) for personal automobiles is 50 cents per mile or local policy, whichever is less. The Texas Mileage Guide will no longer be used to calculate mileage. Travelers will be required to calculate mileage by one of the following two methods:
House Bill 3 requires TEA to develop a system to anticipate problems with financial solvency. As the system is developed, additional information will be added to the Financial Audits web site.
If you have questions about revisions to the Resource Guide, please call (512) 463-9095 to contact Janice Hollingsworth or me.
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