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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Canton Central School District – Financial Condition (2013M-287)

Released: December 20, 2013 -- [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, 2011 through March 31, 2013.


The Canton Central School District is located in St. Lawrence County. The District is governed by the Board of Education which comprises nine elected members. The District’s general fund budgeted expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year were approximately $23.2 million.

Key Findings

  • We reviewed budget-to-actual results for the fiscal years 2009-10 through 2011-12 and found that District officials adopted realistic budgets and kept expenditures within budgeted appropriations. The Board reviewed budget-to-actual comparison reports throughout the year to monitor the budget and approved budget transfers at the monthly Board meetings.
  • However, the heavy reliance on appropriated fund balance as a financing source in the annual budgets has resulted in a significant reduction in the District’s unexpended surplus funds. From 2009-10 to 2011-12, the total fund balance in the general fund has been depleted by 44 percent, from $5,696,396 to $3,170,685, and the unexpended surplus fund balance has been depleted from $1.9 million to just over $730,000 (or 3.1 percent of District appropriations) in 2011-12.

Key Recommendation

  • Reduce reliance on fund balance as a financing source and continue to evaluate and explore ways to cut costs and increase revenues.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

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