Sunday, January 03, 2010

The annual BOE budget moves - 2000 / 2001

Many people, including myself, often wonder where the BOEs tax dollars go. Considering that the BOE has been known to ask for more teachers... even when they don't know how many teachers they have... one must wonder what's happening with our tax dollars. And I recall a different time when I asked about the line items of fluff in the BOE budget. Only to be shushed again!

But those questions required me to analyze a level of detail which I do not intend to analyze at this moment. Instead, I just want to use the Town's audited financial statements to look at the budget variances for the BOE accounts... without digging into the account details.

As I began looking at this data, I expected that there would be variances - any budget would have them. But are there materially significant trends to the budgetary overages / underages?

In order to answer that question, I've put on my auditor's cap and am about to give you a bunch of information. That is, I'm going to give you a ton of boring details first... then in a week or so, you'll get to see the trends that I found.

So first things, first. I've looked at the Audited Financial Statements for the Town for the past decade. Within the town audit, there is a statement on the BOEs budget. I've entered that data to a spreadsheet (along with the likely mapping to the BOE Budget by account) and have calculated the variances by audit account.

Here you can see the audited BOE budget for the 2000 / 2001 fiscal year:*

(Note: I don't have the budget numbers per the BOE this far back... only have the budget numbers per the Auditors this far back.)

As I post each year over the next week or two, I encourage you to pay particular attention to the BOE bottom line numbers for the "original budget," "final budget" and "actual" expenditures. Normally these three numbers are within $1,000 of each other. But that's not always the case. There are two years with significant variations in the budget, as follows:

1) In 2002/2003 the state cut the budget mid-year.

2) In 2004/2005 the town provided a supplemental appropriation.

I hope you find this analysis interesting / useful. Also keep in mind that I entered these numbers to Excel. So there could be a typo, but I've tried to ensure my numbers are consistent with the various data sources.

Tim White

* The auditors and BOE define "accounts" in a slightly different way. But I'm hoping my spreadsheet is self-explanatory.


Anonymous said...

Interesting how the boe went nearly $80,000 over budget on maintenance supplies. That's a lot of rock salt, floor cleaner, etc. They must have stock piled it that year b/c if you've ever watched what some of the custodial staff does during the day, you'd know they weren't spending much of their work day cleaning.

Now there's an area we could see big savings if they did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

I would review the individual expenses of EVERY Town of Cheshire employee--THERE is where you will find waste and mis-management. Lunches/Dinners, Travel, car mileage, airfare, out of state Conferences/Trade Shows--probably runs OVER $1 MILLION for 2009.

Anonymous said...

If someone took a close look at these budgets they would become SICK.

Bill said...

Why did you post old data; 2000/2001?

Post data from the past fiscal closed, by line item of what the budgeted amount per line item was when the budget was approved, then post what the line closed at including the all interdepartmental transfers that are voted on by the BOE last week of June. This will show actual expenditures against planned expenses.

Also the BOE is asked in June to approve all interdepartmental transfers, after they have occurred. The BOE needs to change the policy to match the Town where any interdepartmental transfers are approved before the actual expenses are spent

tim white said...

Bill... I'm adding one year per day. I'll get to 07/08 in a week or so... then may get 08/09 later this month (audit is usually completed in Jan of the following year).