Fiscal Oversight Fundamentals
Since 2005, New York State law requires financial training for every trustee or voting member of a school board or BOCES. Within the first year of their term, members must complete at least six hours of training in their financial oversight, accountability, and fiduciary responsibilities. This training must be approved by the commissioner of education in consultation with the comptroller. NYSSBA is an approved provider of this training via our pace-setting “Fiscal Oversight Fundamentals” curriculum containing five workshops totaling six hours (workshops do not have to be completed in sequence). During the Fiscal Oversight workshops, you will learn:
- How school districts are funded.
- The qualifications and responsibilities of key financial positions such as the claims auditor, treasurer, and audit committee, and the relationship of these positions to the board.
- The importance of independence and segregation of duties in preventing fraud, waste and abuse.
- Reports you need to receive, from whom, and how often. Learn how to use these reports to assess your district’s financial condition.
- Examine findings and recommendations from statewide audits to better understand your districts compliance to key laws such as those regulating fund balance and other reserve funds.
- Explore common types of fraud, waste and abuse, and what actions your board ashould take if you suspect irregularities.
The five modules included in the required training are:
- School District Finances: Roles & Responsibilities
Learn your board’s financial stewardship role and its fiscal oversight responsibilities. Understand the responsibilities of key financial positions such as the claims auditor, treasure and audit committee, and their relationship with the board. Examine the internal and external audit. Learn how to utilize them for proper safeguarding of district resources.
- Building School District Fiscal Fitness
Explore the principal sources of school district funds and major guidelines affecting disposition of funds from each source. Learn why the district prepares a budget, obtains voter approval and understand laws and rules affecting the budget process.
- Managing School District Fiscal Fitness
Study financial management and accounting practices that promote fiscal fitness. Discover how to project cash flow, execute budget transfers and more. Understand how mismanagement of fund balance and reserve funds can have an impact on your district.
- Monitoring District Fiscal Fitness
Learn what information your board should receive regularly, in what form and from whom. Identify elements of financial reports that warrant special attention to ensure the district’s financial health. Understand key indicators of a financially stressed district.
- Preventing Fraud, Waste and Abuse of District Resources
Learn the attitudes and conditions conducive to fraud, waste and abuse of district resources and how you can prevent them. Understand how segregation of duties, internal controls, policy and oversight can protect precious resources. Explore what to do if the board or others suspect irregularities.
Once completed, the mandatory six hour training does not have to be repeated, however due to changing laws and regulations it is a good idea to re-take the course, especially if you are returning to board service.
NYSSBA is offering all five workshops at the 93rd Annual Convention in Rochester.
To serve our members well, NYSSBA schedules additional regional and local workshops in collaboration with BOCES, local school board associations, individual boards or several districts in an area. For workshops in your area or to arrange workshops:
Barry Entwistle, Director of Leadership Development
John Carroll, Leadership Development Manager
Darci McGinn, Leadership Development Manager