State Education Department

Annual Audits of School Districts and Related State Education Department Oversight

Most school districts in New York must be audited annually, and the resulting audit reports must be submitted to the State Education Department. We examined the effectiveness of this audit process and found that a number of improvements could be made. For example, many school districts do not use a competitive process when contracting for audit services, and even when a competitive process is used, the quality of the audit services often is not considered. When we reviewed the documentation supporting selected audits, we found that some of the audits were so deficient that they may not have met applicable professional standards. We referred these audits to the State's disciplinary body for the accounting profession for investigation and appropriate action. We also noted that Department staff could make greater use of the audit reports in fulfilling their responsibilities to oversee various aspects of school district operations. We further noted that improvements could be made in the effectiveness of audits done in response to federal requirements.

For a complete copy of 96-J-1 click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.