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School Boards

The partners of Goudreau Poirier have developed an advanced expertise in the auditing of school boards. Goudreau Poirier conducts several audits in this sector every year.

School boards are public sector entities, whose financial reports are consolidated with provincial financial statements of the Government of Québec. The financial statements of school board must therefore be prepared in accordance with the Canadian Accounting Standards for Public Sector Entities.

A school board’s leadership has the responsibility to plan, manage and control its activities and prepare a report on these management activities, including the financial performance of the board. The leadership also has the responsibility to measure the efficiency of the school board’s programmes and to direct the board’s activities in an economical and efficient manner. Furthermore, the board has the responsibilities to put in place and maintain adequate controls, assure the organisation’s compliance with legislative authorisations, and to apply the appropriate accounting standards to protect the board’s assets. In addition, the leadership of the school board needs to report to the responsible ministry, the elected commissioners of the school board as well as the public.

As outlined in article 284 of the Education Act (L.R.Q., c. I-13.3), the school board has to appoint an external auditor to prepare an audit report on the board’s financial activities. Furthermore, this article allows for the minister to specify the audit mandate of all external auditors of school boards.

The mandate gives the external auditors a broad mission:

  • Financial Statments:
    • preparation of an audit of the financial statements;
  • Legislative authorisations that apply to the school board:
    • preparation of a report of the results of the application of specified audit procedures;
  • School Enrollment
    • preparation of a report on the results of an audit of the reporting of student enrollment in the school board;
    • preparation of a report on the results of an audit of the reporting of student enrollment categories in the school board;

Our primary mandate with school boards is to act as a financial auditor. Nevertheless, we have always felt that in our role as an auditor, we are also there to provide advice and counsel. Considering the complexity and the specifics related to the financing of school boards, it is important that school boards and auditors work together to ensure transparency and accountability. Goudreau Poirier can also help school boards to better understand the effects of financial decisions. It is therefore important that the auditor be familiar with the requirements and needs of school boards.