Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District – Fund Balance Management (2022M-47)

Issued Date
August 12, 2022

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District (District) Board of Education (Board) and officials effectively managed fund balance.

Key Findings

The Board and District officials did not effectively manage the District’s fund balance. As a result, the District levied more taxes than needed to fund operations.

  • The Board overestimated appropriations from 2018-19 through 2020-21 by an average of $2.8 million, or 6.6 percent, and appropriated fund balance that was not used.
  • The District’s surplus fund balance exceeded the 4 percent statutory limit in each of the last three fiscal years by 4.8 to 10.1 percentage points.
  • Three of the District’s reserves were not reasonably funded or used in the last three years.
  • Maintaining reserves that were not used and surplus fund balance that exceeded the statutory limit resulted in real property tax levies being higher than necessary.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt realistic budgets and appropriate fund balance only when needed to fund operations.
  • Reduce surplus fund balance to comply with the statutory limit in a manner beneficial to taxpayers.
  • Adopt a written reserve policy that establishes optimal or targeted funding levels.

District officials generally agreed with our findings and recommendations and indicated they will take corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the District’s response letter.