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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Schuyler County – Treasurer’s Office (2014M-186)


Released: October 3, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the operations of the Treasurer’s office for the period January 1, 2011 through September 11, 2013.

Background

Schuyler County has a population of 18,340 and is governed by eight part-time Legislators. The County’s budgeted appropriations for 2013 were $45.2 million. The elected County Treasurer is the County’s chief fiscal officer. The Treasurer is the recipient and custodian of all of the County’s money and responsible for maintaining an accurate accounting of all receipts and disbursements. The County had two elected Treasurers during our audit period.

Key Findings

  • The Treasurers did not establish any procedures for processing the various financial transactions handled by office staff. As a result, there is a lack of segregation of duties.
  • Bank reconciliations were not timely or accurately prepared and subsidiary accounts were not reconciled to control accounts. As a result, County officials did not know the true cash or financial position at any point in time during the fiscal year.
  • Because financial records were inaccurate and out of balance, the annual update document (AUD) could not be filed timely. The 2011 AUD was not submitted until February 1, 2013, and the 2012 AUD was not filed until October 16, 2013. Even after the CPA provided correcting entries and a financial statement, the filed 2011 AUD was not supported by the accounting records because office staff did not make all of the correcting entries.
  • County officials had no record of the number of delinquent tax accounts or the total amount of taxes due to the County at any time during the year. Officials did not have a list of taxpayers with tax installment agreements and a list of taxpayers in default of their tax installment agreement. As a result, collections were limited and haphazard.

Key Recommendations

  • Appropriately segregate duties and provide adequate oversight to ensure that financial transactions are properly recorded and County moneys are safeguarded.
  • Ensure that complete and accurate bank reconciliations are performed for all bank accounts monthly and that any difference disclosed by the reconciliation process are promptly resolved.
  • Prepare and file the required annual report with OSC in a timely manner and ensure that the accounting records are accurate.
  • Ensure installment agreements are located in one place and a list developed to allow for the determination of defaulted contracts and amounts owed to the County.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236