No red flags in audit of Naperville Park District’s 2023 financials 

Naperville Park District building exterior
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A review of the Naperville Park District’s financial statements from the past year did not raise any red flags, according to a recently released report from an independent auditing firm.

Auditors with public accounting firm Sikich combed through the district’s 2023 financial statements this spring and gave the district high marks on its reporting practices. As with all governing entities in Illinois, the Naperville Park District is required annually to have its financial statements reviewed by an outside firm.

‘Unmodified’ and ‘clean’ audit opinion   

Lindsey Fish, a CPA and principal at Sikich, provided a high-level overview of the district’s 2023 financial statements at a Park Board meeting on Thursday, June 13. At the conclusion of Fish’s presentation, the board approved the document.

“We’ve issued a unmodified, or a clean, audit opinion,” Fish said. “This means that the financial statements present fairly in accordance with generally acceptable accounting principles, and they’re free of material misstatement. This is the highest level of opinion we can provide.”

Sikich’s favorable report on the district’s financials continues an ongoing trend of positive results. The Government Finance Officers Association recently issued the district a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting for the governing entity’s 2022 financial statements.

The audit of the district’s 2023 financials occurred without any obstacles from employees, Fish said, and was completed this spring.

“Overall, the audit went very smooth,” Fish said. “It was on time.”

A look inside the report

The district’s most recent annual comprehensive financial report clocks in at 120 pages and exceeds the standards laid out in state statute for what information needs to be included in the document. Fish said the in-depth report was compiled “in the spirit of full transparency and disclosure.”

One component of the report that is a state requirement — a section on management’s discussion and analysis — provides a big-picture look at the overall state of the district’s financials through Dec. 31.

Once the books were closed on the district’s 2023 financials in the waning days of the past calendar year, assets and deferred outflows exceeded liabilities and deferred inflows to the tune of $239.5 million, according to the report. This represented a total increase of $8 million.

“By far, the largest portion of the district’s net position (84.0%), or $201.2 million, is in its investment in capital assets … less any related debt used to acquire those capital assets that is still outstanding,” the report states.

The report also revealed the district’s fund balance — the portion of the overall budget set aside for reserve cash for such purposes as covering unexpected expenses — increased between 2022 and 2023. At the end of this past year, the district’s fund balance was $38.9 million, compared to $34.3 million at the same point the year prior.

Retirement fund contributions

In her presentation to the board, Fish also highlighted the district’s contributions into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund for employees and indicated contributions are at acceptable levels, based on a myriad of different calculations and requirements under state statute.

At year’s end, the district had been paying 6.14% into the retirement fund, which accounted for a total of $10.51 million in payroll expenses from the past year. District employees also contributed 4.5% into the plan through payroll deductions.

Fish indicated the district makes regular monthly payments into the state retirement program and prefaced this by stating, “That’s what makes it such a well-funded plan.”

Park Board members said they were pleased with the in-depth look through the district’s finances from the past year.

“This is very thorough,” board president Mary Gibson said. “I appreciate it.”

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