Oakfield-Alabama Central School District – Budgeting (2016M-172)

Issued Date
July 29, 2016

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District’s budgeting practices for the period July 1, 2011 through April 4, 2016.


The Oakfield-Alabama Central School District is located in the Towns of Oakfield, Alabama, Batavia, Pembroke and Elba in Genesee County and the Town of Barre in Orleans County. The District, which operates three schools with approximately 870 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $18.5 million.

Key Findings

  • For fiscal years 2011-12 through 2014-15, the Board and District officials overestimated appropriations in the adopted budgets by approximately $5.8 million, and the District only used a minor amount of the fund balance it appropriated to finance operations.
  • Unrestricted fund balance exceeded the 4 percent legal limit during the same period.
  • The District appropriates reserves as a funding source in annual budgets but does not use them, and the Board did not establish an appropriate funding level for the retirement contribution reserve.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop realistic estimates of appropriations and the use of fund balance in the annual budgets.
  • Ensure that the District’s unrestricted fund balance is in compliance with statutory limits and develop a plan to use fund balance in a manner than benefits District residents.
  • Periodically review and update the reserve fund policy to ensure that it clearly describes the Board’s intended use and funding levels of the reserves.