Van Hornesville-Owen D. Young Central School District – Financial Management (2020M-125)

Issued Date
January 22, 2021

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Audit Objective

Determine whether the Van Hornesville-Owen D. Young Central School District’s (District) Board of Education (Board) and District officials effectively managed the District’s financial condition.

Key Findings

The Board and District officials did not effectively manage financial condition. The practice of overestimating appropriations each year and annually appropriating fund balance that was not needed to finance operations contributed to the District maintaining a surplus fund balance that exceeded the statutory limit by $1.5 million and resulted in higher tax levies than necessary.

  • Actual expenditures from 2016-17 through 2018-19 were less than budgeted appropriations by $1.4 million or 8.6 percent.
  • Over the last three years, the District budgeted for operating deficits totaling $358,300 but actually had operating surpluses totaling $535,400, a difference of $893,700.
  • A multiyear financial plan was not adopted.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt realistic budgets, based on actual expenditures.
  • Comply with the surplus fund balance statutory limit and use the excess funds in a manner beneficial to taxpayers.
  • Adopt a multiyear financial plan.

District officials generally agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to take corrective action. Appendix B includes our comment on an issue raised in the District’s response letter.