Every year the Charter School Board publishes the current year changes for the Uniform System of Financial Records for Arizona Charter Schools (USFRCS); also known as the Questionnaire or State requirements. This Questionnaire provides guidelines based on Arizona State Legislature for Charter Schools to comply and hold accountable for financial reporting.
As a reminder, Charter schools must individually apply for Charter status and exemption from the full USFRCS Questionnaire. There are three separate options when applying:
- USFRCS Compliance Questionnaire – This questionnaire is applicable only to charter holders that are subject to the Uniform System of Financial Records for Charter Schools (USFRCS).
- Legal Compliance Questionnaire – This questionnaire is applicable to charter holders that have received an exception to the USFRCS. It is used by Board staff to determine if a charter holder is complying with certain legal requirements.
- Procurement Compliance Questionnaire – This questionnaire is applicable to charter holders that have NOT received an exception from procurement rules and should be completed in conjunction with either the USFRCS Compliance Questionnaire or the Legal Compliance Questionnaire.
These questions are used for the auditors to complete testing over the financial reporting and attendance compliance pieces as detailed by the Charter Board. A summary of the current year changes for the shortened version – Legal Compliance Questionnaire (LCQ) – was only in the Attendance Section. A summary of these changes is listed below:
- Question 1 and 2 (a-i) have been condensed into one single question. Do not be fooled by the removal of all subparts to question 2. Last year these questions listed out each grade and the required minutes for each. This requirement has not been deleted. Per the ARS 15-901 and ARS15-808(J)(1), the minutes by grade are still applicable and documented throughout the statute. This includes AOI requirements.
- Question 4 and 5 have been removed. These were related to early first grade programs and testing kindergarten separately. Kindergarten will now be combined with “elementary” students. Early first grade programs seem to be obsolete and no longer applicable to the LCQ.
- Question 6 to 9 have been replaced with one single question to cover the reporting of absences for elementary, junior high and high school students. ARS 15-901(A)(1)(a)(i) and (5)(a)(i) discusses the ½ day or ¾ day absence. Depending the school’s attendance system, both methods should be tested to verify compliance.
- Questions 20 to 22 have been removed. These questions were related to manual attendance registers, controls over attendance changes and uploading to ADE every 20 days. Although some of these seem important, the electronic systems in place seem to be achieving these steps without much deviation.
There are some other various edit changes, condensing two questions into one for simplicity and sample size clarifications. Please make sure to visit the Charter Board website for the most up-to-date Questionnaire that applies to your school.
Current year forms can be obtained from: https://asbcs.az.gov/school-resources/additional-resources/annual-audits.
Feel free to contact your Henry+Horne tax adviser with any questions.
Noemi Barter, Supervisor