APS to redefine fund balance policy

A new accounting standard is forcing Alpena Public Schools to redefine its general fund balance policies.

Municipalities and other schools across the state will have to do the same.

Basically, a fund balance is the amount of money remaining in a general fund after balancing revenues and expenses.  It is the money left over to cover the unforeseen or for spending in future years.

The new accounting standard requires schools and others to be more specific about fund balances, creating a more consistent and structured picture for auditors and the general public.  The new standard forces entities to separate what money in a fund balance is spendable and what portion is non-spendable.

Diane Block, Assistant Superintendent of Operations for APS, is currently working on a new fund balance policy for the district.  The policy and the new accounting standard will be discussed with the board of education Monday, when it meets for a special retreat.