Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Financial Management (2016M-77)

Issued Date
August 18, 2016

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review BOCES’ financial management practices for the period July 1, 2012 through December 30, 2015.


The Cattaraugus-Allegany-Erie-Wyoming Board of Cooperative Educational Services is a governmental entity covering 22 component school districts in a four-county area. BOCES is governed by a nine-member Board of Education elected by the boards of the component districts. General fund budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $65 million.

Key Findings

  • From fiscal years 2012-13 through 2014-15, the Board and BOCES officials consistently overestimated appropriations by an average of $4.4 million per year.
  • BOCES increased its reserves without adequate disclosure to the public and the districts and overfunded three reserves.
  • BOCES has restricted more than $15 million in funds that should have been returned to the component and participating districts.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop reasonable budget appropriation estimates.
  • Develop a comprehensive written policy or plan for establishing, funding and using reserve funds.
  • Ensure that all surplus funds, except those properly restricted in reserves in accordance with applicable statutes, are distributed back to the districts.