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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Mount Pleasant Cottage School Union Free School District – Financial Condition (2013M-360)


Released: March 7, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s financial condition for the period July 1, 2012 through September 10, 2013.

Background

The Mount Pleasant Cottage School Union Free School District is a special act school district located in Westchester County, and provides education to students from a residential treatment center as well as day students from neighboring districts. The District is governed by a Board of Education which normally comprises nine members. The District’s budgeted appropriations for the 2013 fiscal year were approximately $16.7 million.

Key Findings

  • The District reported unexpended general fund deficits for five consecutive years. The deficit was as high as $5.3 million in fiscal year 2008-09. However, the deficit started declining in the 2009-10 fiscal year when the New York State Education Department and the New York State Division of Budget authorized tuition increases for the District.
  • The District could improve its billing and collection procedures. As of June 30, 2013, the District had approximately $2.4 million in accounts receivable, of which $1.4 million had been outstanding for 30 days and $893,897 had been outstanding for 90 days or more.
  • District officials deemed only 50 percent of the "90 days and over" receivables as collectible, which required aggressive collection procedures and additional reconciliation and verification to ensure that the original bills were accurate.

Key Recommendations

  • Closely monitor the fund deficit and continue to take action to eliminate the deficit.
  • Implement procedures that would enable more timely collection of outstanding tuition.
  • Implement procedures to clear long outstanding receivables from the accounting records.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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