Salamanca Audit Finds Relaxed Handling Of Student Activity Funds

SALAMANCA – Financial health controls for student activity accounts seem to be lacking for at least two area schools.

In a second district in the matter of a month, those accounts have been called into question by accounting agencies. The Salamanca City School District was notified during a recent audit that it – like the Olean school district before – must address the handling of funds in these accounts.

“As school clubs and activities play a vital role in the overall development of well-rounded students, supporting these activities are paramount,” Superintendent Robert Breidenstein said.

It seems that controls on student-ran organizations, when it comes to handling money, is a bit too relaxed for the accountants at Lumsden & McCormick, an accounting firm located in Buffalo. There are plans to address the problems to bring everything into compliance with the generally accepted practices associated with those kinds of groups.

“To address the areas identified, we have required in-service training annually for all club advisors, distributed thumb drives to all club advisers and student officers with common, consistent forms and protocol,” Breidenstein said. “We have also set regular help desk hours in the Business Office for advisers and student officers to meet with business personnel to help with ledgers and financial tracking, such as fundraising and expenditures. We will be having an annual meeting with building administrators where student activities occur to make sure they understand their part in the process as well.”

With the Student Activities Account situation on the way to being remedied, the audit report showed the district to be in better financial footing than in the previous year, Breidenstein said.

“The audit report was quite good and our overall rating has improved due to the institution of tighter internal and external financial controls,” he said. “We are pleased with our financial outlook and have made difficult funding and expenditure decisions to help position the district to meet both the needs of the community and continue to work to implement the new requirements and mandates.”