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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Colesville Fire District #1 – Internal Controls Over Financial Operations (2013M-276)


Released: December 20, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over financial operations for the period January 1, 2011 to August 6, 2013.

Background

The District is a district corporation of the State, distinct and separate from the Town of Colesville and is located in Broome County. The Board of Fire Commissioners consists of five elected members. The District’s general fund budget totals approximately $80,000 for the 2013 fiscal year.

Key Findings

The District does not have adequate financial policies and procedures.

  • While the Board has adopted a purchasing policy and a code of ethics, it has not adopted an investment policy.
  • The Board also has not ensured that written procedures concerning financial recording and reporting were followed. In addition, the Treasurer does not reconcile the bank accounts on a monthly basis. The District contracts with a bookkeeper who performs bank reconciliations only at year-end.
  • Board members authorize all claims for payment and indicate their approval by affixing their initials on the vouchers and the Board minutes consistently indicate their approvals to pay these claims. However, the Board does not see check images in the subsequent month to verify that prior approved claims were in fact paid as directed.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt an investment policy.
  • Ensure that formal written procedures relating to financial recording and reporting are developed. Reconcile the District’s bank accounts to the accounting records on a monthly basis.
  • Require the Treasurer to provide check images for all District disbursements so it can verify claims were paid as directed.

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