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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Akron Central School District - Financial Management (2018M-195)

Released: January 25, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

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

Key Findings

As of June 30, 2017 unrestricted fund balance exceeded the statutory limit by approximately $1.2 million, or 4 percent.

  • The Board annually adopted budgets with overestimated appropriations averaging $2.8 million (10 percent).
  • District officials overfunded two reserves that totaled about $5.3 million and did not use most of the debt reserve funds.
  • Taxpayers might have realized $775,000 in cumulative tax savings if the Board maintained the same 2013-14 tax levy and used reserves to pay for related expenditures.

Key Recommendations

The Board and District officials should:

  • Ensure unrestricted fund balance is in compliance with statute.
  • Adopt realistic budgets based on historical or other known trends.
  • Review reserves to determine whether they are necessary and reasonably funded and use the debt reserve funds to pay related debt.

District officials disagreed with us in many instances; however, they indicated they plan to take corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on the issues raised in the District’s response letter.

Background

The Akron Central School District (District) serves portions of the Towns of Alabama, Alden, Clarence, Lockport, Newstead, Pembroke, and Royalton in Erie, Genesee and Niagara counties and also the Tonawanda Indian Reservation of the Seneca Nation.

The seven-member Board of Education (Board) is responsible for managing and controlling the District’s financial and educational affairs. The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is responsible for the District’s day-to-day management which includes developing and administering the budget. The School Business Administrator (Administrator) assists with these duties.

Quick Facts
Employees240
Enrollment1,440
2017-18 Appropriations$31 million
General Fund Balance as of June 30, 2017$14 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2014 – June 27, 2018. We extended our audit scope period back to July 5, 2000, to evaluate the establishment of certain reserves, 2013-14 to determine the change in the tax levy and 2007-08 to analyze 10 years of retirement expenditures.


Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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