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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Afton Fire District – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2013M-248)


Released: November 22, 2013 -- [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, 2011, to July 12, 2013.

Background

The District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Afton, and located in Chenango 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 $114,800 for the 2013 fiscal year.

Key Findings

District controls are not adequate to ensure that financial activity is properly recorded and reported, and that District moneys are safeguarded.

  • While the Board has adopted a code of ethics, it has not adopted investment or procurement policies.
  • Although the Treasurer prepares monthly reports to account for the District’s financial activities and files an annual update document with the State Comptroller’s Office each year, the Treasurer does not present the Board with budget-to-actual reports for expenditures on a monthly basis.
  • The Board authorizes each claim for payment and indicates its approval by affixing each member’s signature on the warrant and on each attached invoice; however, the Board has no process in place to verify it is approving all claims for payment because the Board is not reviewing monthly bank statements or bank reconciliations.
  • Although the Board contracted with an independent accountant to perform an audit of the Treasurer’s records for the 2010 fiscal year, the 2011 and 2012 records had not been reviewed as of July 31, 2013.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt investment and procurement policies.
  • Ensure that the Board is receiving adequate financial reports to perform its duties and monitor the District’s financial position.
  • Implement a process to ensure it is auditing all claims for payment.
  • Audit or cause for an audit of the Treasurer’s records annually.

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