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Office of the New York State Comptroller

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York City Department of Education
James Madison High School: Management of General School Funds


Issued: July 12, 2012
Link to full audit report 2011-N-1

Purpose
To determine if James Madison High School officials properly managed and administered the school's General School Funds accounts and if monies from those accounts were properly accounted for and spent for the benefit of students. Our audit period covered the months from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 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 2009 and June 2010, James Madison officials deposited $656,804 in the school's GSF accounts and paid out $602,225.

Key Findings

  • We examined 89 disbursements totaling $228,964 and identified $6,856 in GSF funds used to pay for items that were not student-related or should have been paid for with regular tax levy funds. Of this amount, $3,251 in salary loans made to teachers has since been repaid by the Department.
  • James Madison officials did not establish an adequate system of accountability over the operations of the school's Gym Store and its faculty Café. There were no inventory records and no reliable system to record sales at either location. The Café has a cash register, but there is no tape in it to record sales. Our tests showed manual records from the Gym Store conflicted with the treasurer's records, evidencing missing receipts, duplications and improperly voided documents. As a result, we were unable to ensure that all revenues were properly accounted for.
  • As of February 22, 2011, we identified 25 GSF checks totaling $5,836 that had been outstanding for periods ranging from 239 to 509 days. Procedures call for uncashed checks to be investigated after 60 days and cancelled after 90 days. School officials told us they were unaware of the requirement to follow up on outstanding payments.

Key Recommendations

  • Reimburse the GSF account for the remaining $3,605 that was disbursed inappropriately.
  • Improve accountability over Gym Store and Café operations by instituting appropriate financial
    management practices.
  • Provide appropriate training to all James Madison officials who have oversight and custody of
    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