Report Helps Student-run Clubs Strengthen Collection Process
Jan. 25, 2018
Queensbury Union Free School District has strengthened the receipt process for extracurricular clubs following a New York State Comptroller's audit of the extra-classroom activities fund. The comptroller's report revealed that in some cases the student-run clubs did not maintain adequate documentation for their collections. In contrast, the district's collection of club deposits and disbursement of funds was found to be accurate and adequately documented.
"The selection by the New York State Comptroller of the extra-classroom activity fund for testing is a positive reflection on the internal controls throughout the other financial operations of the school district. Queensbury Union Free School District has an approximately $62.8 million budget. The Extra-classroom Activity Fund represents 0.41 percent of the school district's budget," wrote Assistant Superintendent for Business Scott Whittemore in the district's response to the audit.
Auditors reviewed collection activities for 10 extracurricular clubs and identified these areas for improvement:
- The student treasurers and faculty advisors of five clubs did not maintain adequate supporting documentation for remittances related to collection activities such as concession sales and ticket sales. For example, in some cases they did not maintain duplicate press-numbered receipts, daily sales reports or adequate documentation for free items given away.
- During the audited time period, district officials were unable to ensure that students were adequately accounting for and remitting collections to the district's central treasurer in a timely manner.
Auditors also identified areas that functioned properly:
- The student treasurers did maintain adequate documentation for disbursements, which were for appropriate purposes and accurately accounted.
- The district's central treasurer did properly account for all collections and disbursements examined.
The comptroller's report then made these recommendations for the district:
- Ensure student treasurers and advisors properly account for all club collections and maintain records to provide adequate supporting documentation.
- Require clubs to keep a record of items given away for free.
- Appoint a faculty auditor to oversee the management of club funds and records.
Queensbury is already acting on those recommendations with the appointment of a faculty auditor. It also is providing additional professional development for staff to ensure they understand recordkeeping requirements for clubs.
"[The district] views this audit as an opportunity to improve both financial processes and internal controls. We appreciate the New York State Comptroller's valuable input related to the monies collected by student clubs," wrote Whittemore.