Student Activity Accounts- Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Accounting and Auditing

Student Activity Accounts

From:Robert V. Antonucci, Commissioner
Date:May 31, 1996


Legislation has recently been enacted to allow school districts to set up checking counts for use by school principals in spending monies collected through various tudent activities. A copy of this statute (Chapter 66 of the Acts of 1996) is enclosed.

I encourage you to use this new authority to replace any unofficial and unauthorized bank accounts which may have been established in your district to handle student activity receipts. In the aggregate, many thousands of dollars in receipts and expenditures are generated as a result of school sponsored student activities. Chapter 66 provides a way for school managers to handle these financial transactions quickly and efficiently, with reasonable safeguards.

Procedures to govern the use of these new student activity accounts should be adopted by the school committee, after consultation with your business manager, municipal or district treasurer, and municipal finance director, as appropriate. As a guide, the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) has two publications, "Guidelines for Student Activity Fund Accounting" and "Internal Audit Guide for Student Activity Funds", that will assist in establishing procedures.

The procedures should include a requirement for an annual audit of these accounts, as required by the statute. At a minimum such audits should include:

  1. a reconciliation of the cash balances as shown in the checkbook and bank statements;
  2. a review of compliance with the school committee's adopted procedures; and
  3. a review of the supporting documentation for a randomly selected sample of payments.

These annual audits can be conducted by personnel in the school business office or the municipal finance office. For accounts with authorized limits exceeding $25,000, districts should consider having the audit conducted by an outside accounting firm at least every two or three years.

Please share this information with your business manager. If you need any additional information, please contact Jay Sullivan at (781) 338-3000. Thank you.

Last Updated: May 31, 1996

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