Southern Cayuga Central School District – Financial Condition (2020M-77)

Issued Date
November 06, 2020

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Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials effectively managed the District’s financial condition.

Key Findings

The Board and District officials did not effectively manage financial condition.

  • The Board underestimated revenues by an average of $141,038 and overestimated appropriations by an average of $1.3 million over the three completed years. As a result, the District generated large operating surpluses and did not use about $1.1 million in appropriated fund balance.
  • As of June 30, 2019, recalculated surplus fund balance totaled almost $1.7 million and was 10.7 percent of 2018-19 expenditures.
  • The Board and District officials did not develop adequate multiyear financial and capital plans.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets that include reasonable estimates for revenues, appropriations and the amount of fund balance needed to fund operations.
  • Reduce surplus fund balance to comply with the statutory limit and use the excess funds in a manner more beneficial to taxpayers.
  • Develop comprehensive multiyear financial and capital plans that set long-term objectives and goals using realistic estimates.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to take corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the District’s response letter.