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MISD Receives ASBO International’s Meritorious Budget Award and is Among Only 32 Districts to Earn Award of Excellence in Financial Management from TASBO

Article|
Shane Mauldin|
Tuesday, January 9, 2024

McKinney, Texas — McKinney ISD has received two major awards for excellence in its financial operations: the 2023–2024 Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) and the 2024 Award of Excellence in Financial Management from the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO), an award granted this year to only 32 districts across the state.

The honors represent the second and third awards that the MISD Business Services Group has announced in less than two months. In December, they received the 2024 Award of Merit for Purchasing Operations from TASBO.

“We are so proud and honored that all the hours of review of every component of our financial management and budget process has been officially recognized by TASBO and ASBO International,” said Chief Financial Officer Marlene Harbeson.

“The MISD Business Services Group has spent the last six months completing a deep dive into every process and procedure related to financial management and the budget process,” Harbeson said. “All to enhance our financial transparency and communicate the how, when and why of MISD finances. We have incorporated a significant number of spreadsheets, charts and graphs to help our readers see the big picture.

“This is the first time to receive both of these prestigious awards,” Harbeson added, “and, we couldn’t be more excited to see our efforts acknowledged.”

ASBO International’s Meritorious Budget Award and introductory Pathway to the MBA programs promote and recognize excellence in school budget presentation. Program participation enhances school business officials’ skills in developing, analyzing and presenting a school system budget. Participants submit their budget documents to a panel of school financial professionals who review the materials for compliance with the MBA Criteria Checklist and other requirements and provide expert feedback that districts can use to improve their budget documents.

Districts that meet the stringent program requirements may earn either the MBA or Pathway to the MBA (Pathway). Pathway is an introductory program that allows districts to ease into full MBA compliance.

“ASBO International’s MBA program provides school districts with tools and resources to develop a high-quality, easy-to-understand budget to share the district’s goals and objectives internally and with the community,” ASBO International COO/Interim Executive Director Siobhán McMahon, CAE explained. “By participating in the programs, districts demonstrate their commitment to upholding nationally recognized budget presentation standards.”

The TASBO Award of Excellence in Financial Management recognizes Texas school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, and education service centers that have implemented professional standards, best practices and innovations in financial reporting.

The criteria to qualify for the Award of Excellence in Financial Management are stringent, based on financial accounting and reporting guidelines identified by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Financial Accountability System Resource Guide (FASRG). Additional resources included best practices in financial reporting identified by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts; Association of School Business Officials International; Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA); Council of the Great City Schools; and the Legislative Budget Board (LBB).

Applicants must submit documents in key areas, which are reviewed by a TASBO accounting subcommittee. Evaluation components include but are not limited to:

  • Unmodified Audit Opinion
  • Passing Score on FIRST Rating
  • Debt Transparency
  • Finance/Business Department Staffing
  • Training
  • Staffing Controls
  • Budget Management
  • Financial Management Process
  • Cash/Investment Management
  • Communications
  • Financial Reports
  • Financial Analyses and Projections

 

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If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact MISD Communications Department team member Shane Mauldin by phone at 469-302-4007 or by email here .

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