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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts


Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District – Financial Condition and Payroll (2017M-94)


Released: September 29, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review District financial and payroll records for the period July 1, 2015 through March 2, 2017.

Background

The Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District is located in the Towns of Cheektowaga and West Seneca in Erie County. The District operates four schools, has approximately 1,400 students and is governed by a seven-member Board of Education. General fund budgeted appropriations for the 2016-17 fiscal year totaled approximately $34 million.

Key Findings

  • District officials reported unrestricted fund balance to be within the statutory limit but it was actually understated by more than $2.7 million because the Business Manager recorded an improper prior period adjustment.
  • Although District officials appropriated approximately $2.2 million of fund balance on average to help finance the budget each year, none of it was needed because the Board and District officials overestimated appropriations each year by an average of $4.6 million, or 16 percent.
  • The employee benefit accrued liability reserve (EBALR) was excessive when compared to the potential costs which could be paid from the reserve.

Key Recommendations

  • Maintain unrestricted fund balance within the statutory limit.
  • Develop realistic estimates of appropriations and use of fund balance in the budget.
  • Ensure that the EBALR is used in accordance with statute and take appropriate action to better align funding levels with the District’s long-term liability.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236