Vestal Central School District – Fund Balances (2017M-91)

Issued Date
July 28, 2017

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the District’s financial management practices for the period July 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017.


The Vestal Central School District is located in the Towns of Vestal and Binghamton in Broome County and the Town of Owego in Tioga County. The District, which operates seven schools with approximately 3,200 students, is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2017-18 fiscal year total approximately $76.2 million.

Key Findings

  • District officials consistently overestimated expenditures and appropriated fund balance that was not used.
  • Three of the District’s reserve funds did not have adequate support and plans for the balances.
  • Total fund balance has increased by $6.3 million (38 percent) to $22.6 million from 2013-14 through 2015-16 and unassigned fund balance significantly exceeded the statutory limit.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop and adopt annual budgets that include realistic estimates for expenditures and only budget for the use of fund balance when necessary.
  • Analyze all reserve balances and transfer overfunded amounts to unassigned fund balance, where allowed by law, or other reserves established and maintained in compliance with statutory directives.
  • Use the excess accumulated fund balance for one time expenditures, to fund needed reserves, to pay down debt or to reduce taxes.