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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts


North Warren Central School District – Financial Condition Management (2017M-197)


Released: January 12, 2018 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether District officials effectively managed general fund balance for the period July 1, 2013 through May 31, 2017.

Background

The North Warren Central School District is located in Warren and Essex counties. The District has approximately 520 students. Budgeted appropriations for the 2017-18 fiscal year totaled approximately $13.3 million.

Key Findings

  • The District’s budgets included appropriated fund balance that was not used as planned to fund operations. The budgets overestimated appropriations by approximately $2.9 million or 6 percent from 2013-14 through 2016-17.
  • Unrestricted fund balance increased to almost $2.26 million or 17 percent of the ensuing year’s budgeted appropriations, exceeding the statutory limit by 13 percentage points.
  • Tax certiorari and unemployment insurance reserves are overfunded.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt realistic annual budgets based on historical or other known trends and use appropriated fund balance to fund operations.
  • Use surplus funds as a financing source to fund one-time expenditures and needed reserves or reduce District property taxes.
  • Review all reserves to determine whether the amounts retained are necessary and reasonable.

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