For more than 45 years, the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) has distributed Certificates of Excellence in Financial Reporting (COE) to honor school districts for high-quality comprehensive annual financial reports. And for the past 18 years, Sycamore Community School District 427 has earned a certificate.
Public school districts are required to release a financial report each year — numbers to show how they have used funds and other resources. A comprehensive annual financial report contains additional commentary and can help tell a district’s story.
District 427’s business office was recently recognized for their fiscal year 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Earning the COE shows a commitment to both transparency in stewardship of public funds and improved financial reporting. The COE is also viewed by credit-rating agencies as a positive factor in decision making.
Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Nicole Stuckert explained that although the office is proud of their recurring accomplishment, the reason they do it is not for recognition. “[The report] is not something that is required of districts to do... it's really about transparency to our stakeholders,” said Stuckert.
District 427 works to ensure our resources are used efficiently, in ways that benefit all stakeholders. As we strive for transparency and accountability in our operations, this certificate is one testament to our progress.
Business office staff commonly consider their work on this comprehensive annual report to be part of their job, but it is much more than that — “it is a lot of hard work we do that we don’t necessarily have to, but it’s important to us,” said Stuckert.