County School Accounting
This month we will peel back some layers of the complex workings of the County Schools Business Office. All purchase orders from each district and payrolls flow through the County Schools Office. Our focus this month will be on the desk of the Accounting Specialist for the Business Office.
As an Accounting Specialist for the Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Business Services division, the tasks are varied. Many are performed on a daily & weekly basis, while others occur at specific times throughout the year.
All monies for the Tuolumne County Schools Service Fund except State and Federal apportionments flow across the Accountant Specialist’s desk. These funds are prepared for deposit and are given appropriate coding in our accounting system so they are properly reflected in program budgets. We also invoice districts and outside agencies for services rendered, such as fingerprinting.
On a weekly basis all school districts code and enter their accounts payable into the accounting system and send their batches to our office. These batches are audited for correct coding, use tax flags for out-of-state purchases are checked, a check is done to make sure a W-9 is on file, and if needed, a vendor is flagged for a 1099 for year-end tax reporting. This desk is responsible for doing these tasks for the County Schools Office as well. The Accounting Specialist works closely with our Budget Analyst so bills are coded correctly according to program budgets. Accounts Payable warrants are then produced once a week and distributed back to the districts via our pony service.
Payroll is processed monthly. This desk is responsible for entering payroll information for all employees from the County Schools Service Fund and the Special Education fund. All payroll information from the districts and our office flow to the Accounting Specialist II for auditing and production. In conjunction with payroll is benefit maintenance. Since our benefits flow through the payroll system, it is important that all voluntary deductions be monitored for correctness. Once a year we have open enrollment where each employee with medical benefits must be notified of plan/cost changes and given the opportunity to change plans and add or delete dependents. This process usually begins in August and carries through into September culminating with all changes being made for the September payroll. This is also when most of the contract changes for employees are made. Throughout the payroll process, this desk works closely with our Human Resources office.
This desk also distributes petty cash, maintains all files related to accounts payable and payroll, orders supplies and maintains a supply of appropriate forms. This system keeps our schools business systems running smoothly and efficiently.