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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Williamsville Central School District – Financial Management (2016M-274)


Released: December 2, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the District’s financial management for the period July 1, 2012 through June 3, 2016.

Background

The Williamsville Central School District is located in the Towns of Amherst, Clarence and Cheektowaga in Erie County. The District, which operates 13 schools with approximately 10,000 students, is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $178.2 million.

Key Findings

  • For the 2012-13 through 2015-16 fiscal years, District officials appropriated $21.7 million of unrestricted fund balance to help finance operations, which was not needed because the District’s budgeting practices produced operating surpluses.
  • The reserve fund policy did not adequately address how reserves would be funded and used.
  • The District’s insurance reserve has been used for self-insurance for dental and other claims, which is not an appropriate use of this type of reserve.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that budgets include realistic appropriations based on actual needs to avoid levying taxes at a level greater than needed and ensure that estimates in the annual budget for the planned use of fund balance are accurate and reasonable.
  • Revise the reserve fund policy to ensure that it identifies optimal or targeted funding levels for each reserve and the conditions under which each reserve fund will be used or replenished.
  • Charge appropriate expenditures to the insurance reserve as required or transfer the funds in the reserve to another reserve in accordance with statute.

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