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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Canaseraga Central School District - Financial Management (2019M-104)

Released: August 9, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board and District officials properly managed fund balance and reserves.

Key Findings

  • The Board overestimated appropriations by a total of $3.5 million over three years and annually appropriated an average of $357,000 of fund balance that was not used to finance operations.
  • As of June 30, 2018, surplus fund balance totaled $365,000 and was 5 percent of 2018-19 appropriations, exceeding the 4 percent statutory limit by approximately $74,000 or 1 percentage point.
  • The District has not adopted a comprehensive written reserve fund policy and could not demonstrate a plan for the need for certain reserves that have not been used for three years.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets that include reasonable estimates for appropriations and the amount of fund balance that will be used 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.
  • Adopt a comprehensive written reserve policy, including a plan for the use of reserves.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to take corrective action.


The Canaseraga Central School District (District) serves the Towns of Almond, Birdsall, Burns and Grove in Allegany County; the Town of Ossian in Livingston County and the Towns of Almond and Dansville in Steuben County.

The District is governed by an elected five-member Board of Education (Board). The Superintendent of Schools (Superintendent) is the chief executive officer and the Business Official and is responsible for day-to-day management under the Board’s direction, the development of the annual budget and the supervision of financial activities.

Quick Facts
2018-19 General Fund Budget$7.3 million

Audit Period

July 1, 2015 – April 12, 2019

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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