Required financial information that is to be posted on the district’s website:
- Original budget
- Final annual budget
- External audit reports along with the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) if applicable
- State Comptroller’s Audit (OSC) report along with the CAP, if applicable
- Board-adopted Multiyear Financial Plan
- A district is required by law to post to its website a board-adopted multiyear financial plan. If a multiyear financial plan is not Board adopted, posting is a best practice.
The report also included best practices for school districts to implement to ensure that financial information is presented in a transparent manner as well as being accessible. These include:
- Budget-to-Actual information
- Comprehensive Final Annual Budget
- Providing historical and current year actual revenue and expenditure results and posting them on the same web page as budget information could enhance the transparency and comprehension of financial information.
- Multiyear Financial Plan (Non-Board adopted)
- Districts should still prepare, adopt and post a comprehensive multiyear financial plan on the website to help residents, taxpayers and the public see the impact of fiscal decisions.
- Internal audits along with the CAP, if applicable
The OSC report also encourages districts to ensure that the posted information is readily accessible (i.e., in a transparent location). This can be accomplished for example, by having a link to financial information and audit reports prominently displayed on the district’s home page. Take a look at your website from the perspective of the voter to ensure your school district’s website is transparent. Click here for the NYS OSC report.
Best of luck on the upcoming budget vote!
Nicholle Mezier, CPA, MBA
Nicholle is a Manager of Cerini & Associates’ audit staff where she brings experience in audit, review, and consulting services to our general business, nonprofit and special education clients. Nicholle has worked with a large number of nonprofit clients, predominantly focusing on social service providers, healthcare providers, foundations, educational institutions, and arts and culture organizations. Nicholle’s technical knowledge allows her to provide specific services, including financial statement audits, internal and claims audits, and nonprofit outsourced accounting services. Nicholle has also contributed to the firm’s various newsletters.