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Office of the New York State Comptroller

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York City Department of Education
Michelangelo Middle School: Management of General School Funds


Issued: April 19, 2012
Link to full audit report 2010-N-8

Purpose
To determine if Michelangelo Middle School officials properly managed and administered the school's General School Funds account and if monies from that account were properly accounted for and spent for the benefit of students. Our audit period covered the months from July 22, 2008 through August 9, 2010.

Background
Many public schools in New York City maintain one or more General School Funds (GSF) and related bank accounts. These accounts are used to deposit and account for fees received from students, as well as funds raised by students from bake sales, candy sales, and other fundraising activities. The funds are generally to be used in support of the students and their activities. Between July 2008 and August 2010, bank records indicate Michelangelo officials disbursed $124,090 from the school's GSF account.

Key Findings

  • The control environment over the GSF accounts at Michelangelo is weak and, as a result, we found mismanagement and significant deficiencies over the receipt, disbursement and recordkeeping of GSF funds. School officials did not maintain complete or accurate accounting records to document GSF activity, required approval processes were routinely ignored, and there is no reliable record of the amount of funds that should be on deposit.
  • For the 2008-09 through 2009-10 school years, the school treasurer recorded receipts for $128,835 in the accounting records, but only $126,806 was deposited in the GSF bank account. The treasurer was unable to explain the $2,029 discrepancy. We have recommended that Department officials investigate this matter.
  • We examined support for all 232 payments made between July 2008 and August 2010, and determined $13,638 was used to pay for items that were not student-related or that should have been paid for with the school's regular tax levy funds. Examples include $4,329 for school supplies, $2,096 for staff meals, $1,809 for postage.

Key Recommendations

  • Investigate what happened to the $2,029 discrepancy between recorded receipts and the amount deposited into Michelangelo's GSF bank account.
  • Reimburse the GSF account $13,638 for expenses that were not in support of students.
  • Train Michelangelo officials to properly oversee GSF funds.¬†

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest
New York City Department of Education: John F. Kennedy Education Campus: Management of General School Funds Report 2009-N-11


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone:(518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236