Ontario-Seneca-Yates-Cayuga-Wayne Board of Cooperative Educational Services – Budget Development (2022M-209)

Issued Date
June 09, 2023

Determine whether the Ontario-Seneca-Yates-Cayuga-Wayne Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) officials’ budget development process ensures reasonable budget estimates.

Key Findings

BOCES officials’ budget development process was ineffective and did not ensure reasonable budget estimates.

  • Budgets developed for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 fiscal years had overestimated appropriations totaling $65.5 million and overestimated revenues totaling $41.2 million. This resulted in net operating surpluses totaling more than $24 million over the three-year period.
  • Appropriations for three equipment accounts and two printing service accounts were consistently overestimated by approximately $11.5 million and $3 million annually.
  • Department heads utilize worksheets to prepare budget estimates, which are then required to be manually input into the financial system by the business office, which is inefficient and increases the likelihood for errors. There are also no verifications within the worksheets to ensure budget estimates are balanced.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure accurate and balanced budget estimates are developed which consider historical trends and revenue estimates and consider utilizing the budgeting module within the financial system or streamline the current budget workbook method to allow for the direct transition of information.

Officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they plan to initiate corrective action.