To ease the annual audit process of accounts and financial transactions for school districts, Assembly Democrats Carol Murphy (D- Burlington) and Eric Houghtaling (D- Monmouth) sponsor legislation to extend the completion and filing deadlines. The bill passed the Assembly 72-1 and Senate 34-1 Monday and now heads to the Governor’s desk.
The required annual audit for every New Jersey school district is typically conducted on site, but due to COVID-19, the number of persons permitted to enter school buildings has been limited making the audit process more difficult. The bill (A-4603) allows the deadline for completion of 2019-2020 fiscal school year audits to be moved from November 30, 2020 to January 31, 2021. The bill also extends the timeline for audit submission to the Commissioner of Education from December 5, 2020 to February 5, 2021.
Following final passage of the measure, Assembly sponsors Murphy and Houghtaling issued the following joint statement:
“The pandemic has made it difficult for the accounting firms that typically conduct both school district and municipality audits. With municipalities already pushing their deadlines back, extending the deadlines for school districts would greatly help everyone involved in the audit process.
“COVID-19 has created unfamiliar conditions and significantly limited access to the on-site school offices. Time extensions would greatly benefit both the accountants and the school districts and support their efforts to produce accurate audits.”
The bipartisan bill is also sponsored by Assembly member Ronald Dancer (R- Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean).