The Syracuse school board may consider corporate credit cards to make it easier for some departments to cover last-minute expenses.
     The plan also would make it easier for the district to monitor and control expenses, and it could potentially replace petty cash funds in schools.
     Chief Financial Officer Joseph Rufo said during Tuesday's meeting of the school board's Budget and Finance Committee that the district has been looking into a corporate credit card for about six months to become "more efficient in providing funds to departments" that have unexpected expenses. Examples include sports teams that qualify for postseason play or extracurricular clubs invited to regional or national competitions.
     Director of Fiscal Services Suzanne Slack said she has found an option that would allow the district to set strict guidelines for use. She said the district would also be able to immediately review purchases, rather than waiting until the user turned in receipts.
     "They'll still need to keep their receipts and fill out all the paperwork that would authorize payment, but it would help our funding stream," she said.
     Slack said the cards, if approved, would be used initially by a limited group. If successful, additional district employees might be added.
     School accounts came under review earlier this year when an internal audit cited Fowler High School Principal Laura Vieira-Suarez for possible fiscal mismanagement. Superintendent Dan Lowengard has said the audit found no theft, fraud or wrongdoing, but it did find procedural errors.
     The budget committee asked that the credit card issue go before the board's Policy Committee next month.
     Sapna Kollali can be reached at skollali@syracuse.com or 470-3257.
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