Webster Central School District - Financial Condition (2018M-109)

Issued Date
September 14, 2018

 [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Board effectively managed the District’s finances by adopting realistic budgets and ensuring unrestricted fund balance remained within statutory limits.

Key Findings

  • District officials appropriated nearly $28 million of fund balance (approximately $5.5 million each year) in the 2013-14 through 2017-18 budgets as a financing source. However, $22 million (80 percent) was not used to fund operations.
  • Recalculated unrestricted fund balance exceeded the 4 percent statutory limit for 2012-13 and 2014-15 through 2016-17 ranging from 7.3 and 7.7 percent.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that the District’s fund balance is in compliance with statutory limits and use surplus funds as a financing source to fund one-time expenditures and needed reserves or reduce real property taxes.
  • Develop and adopt budgets based on historical trends or other known factors.
  • Discontinue the practice of appropriating fund balance that is not needed or used to fund operations.

District officials disagreed with certain aspects of our findings and recommendations, but indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the District’s response letter.