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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Parishville Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2011M-275)


Released: January 13, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether District controls are adequate to ensure that financial activity is properly recorded and reported and that District moneys are safeguarded for the period January 1, 2010 to July 31, 2011.

Background

The Parishville Fire District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Parishville, in St. Lawrence County. The Board of Fire Commissioners consists of five elected members and is responsible for the District's overall financial management. The District's general fund budget totaled $152,000 for the 2011 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not adopted purchasing and investment policies or a code of ethics.
  • At the monthly Board meetings, the Secretary-Treasurer provides the Board with a verbal report of the District's bank balances; however, he does not provide the Board with periodic written financial reports showing cash balances or budget vs. actual results.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer has not filed an annual financial report with the Office of the State Comptroller since 2002.
  • The Secretary-Treasurer has been withholding Social Security and Medicare taxes from his salary since he took office in 2003. However, he has not reported or remitted these taxes (including the District's share) to the Internal Revenue Service. Based on his annual salary from 2003 to 2010 ($3,750 to $4,000), we estimate the District withheld about $2,350 for these taxes from his pay.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt purchasing and investment policies as well as a code of ethics.
  • Require the Secretary-Treasurer to prepare and present written monthly reports to assist in monitoring financial activity.
  • Ensure that the Secretary-Treasurer files the District's annual financial reports with the Office of the State Comptroller in a timely manner.
  • Ensure that the Secretary-Treasurer prepares the appropriate returns and remits the payroll taxes to the IRS.

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