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Annual Report Guide: 11, 12, 13 & 14 - Financials

Created to move all information and reports for the 47 Libraries of RCLS to one place that is always accessible.

RCLS Helpful Hints


Notes are especially important in the financial sections.

Financial Reports are on the Cash Basis.  No accruals, deferrals, receivables or payables are to be reported.

11.1.1 – 11.1.5 Local Public Funds: Represents money received directly from municipalities or districts. Use as many repeating groups as necessary.  Create a group for each local public funds source.  Enter the library’s County allocation here. 

  • Orange Library Association (OLA) has a contract with the County - enter “yes”. 
  • Sullivan County Public Library Alliance (SUPLA) does not have a contract with the County - enter “no”.

Reminder: For special legislative districts, report separately each municipal entity that levies and collects the tax receipts for the district as specified in the library’s legislation.  PILOT payments get reported on 11.18.

It is super helpful if the each municipal funds are reported in the same order as last year.

11.3 – 11.8 System Cash Grants to Member Library: Answers are on the RCLS handout “2021 Annual Report Worksheet, Section 11 – System Cash Grants to Member Libraries”.  The spreadsheet is below, and please forward this to the person completing this Section.

11.9 State Aid Other Than…: Grant funds received directly from the State, such as construction, member items or SAM grants not paid through RCLS, are reported here or on line 13.4 in the Capital Fund.

11.11 Other Federal Aid - Report any funds received from the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid sick leave.  If a portion of the PPP loan is repaid, it will be reported on line 12.30 Budget Loans.

11.18 Other: Revenue received from sources other than local and RCLS.  For example, funds received from LARC, Mid-Hudson Library System or the Arts Council.  

Note - Economic Development Entities – include funds from local or NYS-sponsored industrial development agencies and authorities including PILOT payments.

11.25 Balance in Operating Fund - Beginning Balance: The program prefills this box and RCLS double checks this number.  If there is a change, please email Stephen for advice. Changing the beginning cash is a big deal.

11.26 Grand Total Receipts, Budget Loans, Transfers and Balance: MUST match Line 12.41: Grand Total Disbursements, Transfers and Balance.  


The instructions describe what types of expenses should be included in each expense category; please consult the instructions before asking RCLS. A simple click on the "?" icon.

12.20 Binding Expenses has been deleted, which leads to renumbering of questions from this point forward.

On RCLS Invoice to member libraries, we provide the the following Information "On the Annual Report, this charge should be included on line 12.23: Equipment." Please be aware that the Annual Report renumbering will make this information off by 1.


12.21 Professional & Consultant Fees: Amount of $10,000 or greater must be identified in Note.  Suggestion: If no one professional or consultant was paid $10,000 or more, indicate that in the Note. 

12.22 Equipment: Related technology expenses such as software and web server services should be included in Other Miscellaneous 12.24.

12.23 Other Miscellaneous:  For expense payments greater than $10,000 or 5% of the library’s budget (whichever is higher), a Note must explain how the funds were spent. Suggestion: If no single expense exceeds $10,000 or 5% of the Library’s Budget, indicate that in the Note.

12.25 Contracts with Public Libraries and/or Public Library Systems in New York State. 

RCLS will continue to focus on helping libraries report payments to RCLS on the correct Annual Report lines.  

  • Instructions read: “Record money paid for services purchased by the reporting library from other free association, public libraries or Public Library Systems in NYS.”

  • This is a list of the top 10 most common types of payments to RCLS and which line they should be reported on:
    1. E-Content pooling                               12.7    Electronic Materials
    2. Receipt printer paper, barcodes…      12.18   Office and Library Supplies
    3. RCLS Service Fee                              12.21  Professional & Consultant fees
    4. Computer equipment purchases        12.22  Equipment
    5. Envisionware maintenance                12.23  Other Miscellaneous
    6. Software-Microsoft Office/antivirus     12.23  Other Miscellaneous
    7. NYLA membership                             12.23  Other Miscellaneous
    8. Movie licensing                                   12.24  Other Miscellaneous
    9. ANSER fees & Telecommunications   12.25  Contracts with RCLS

     (Per DLD, add a Note: Includes Telecommunication Fees of $X,XXX)

    1. RCLS labor for technology                 12.25 Contracts with RCLS

12.39 Balance in Operating Fund – Ending Balance: Is not a fabricated number to balance the report.  It is an actual number that the report must balance to.  If you plug in a number just to make the report balance, it will cause problems in future years.  The cash balance reported on the Annual Report should agree with the cash balance on the Library’s Balance Sheet, NYS AUD, IRS 990 and/or Audited Statements for the same reporting period.

12.41 Assurance: The date here is the date the Library Board approves the Annual Report, as documented in your minutes.  If the Board has not passed a resolution by the due date (February 22, 2021), enter the date of the meeting where the report will be approved. It is not uncommon for a report to be approved (March or April of 2021) after it is summited. Contact Stephen if the date changes or any other information changes after the report is submitted. 

  • Hint: The board resolution to approve the Annual Report could read, “The Library operated under its plan of service in accordance with the provisions of Education Law and the Regulations of the Commissioner, and assures that the 2019 Annual Report was reviewed and accepted by the Board.”

12.42 Last Audit Performed: Enter the date a CPA audit was performed, not the last day of the financial year.



13.13 Total Cash Receipts and Balance: MUST match Line 14.12: Total Cash Disbursements and Balance, using the same theory as discussed in Operating Fund Revenue and Disbursements. 

  • Do not include debt service in this section; it belongs in the Operating Fund Disbursement Part question 12.27 and/or 12.28.

RCLS strongly recommends using the Capital Section to report construction activity because the RCLS Service Fee is, in part, based on total Operating expense.  Including construction activity in the Operating section will increase your fee.

Section 11 - System Grants to Member Libraries