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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Almond Volunteer Fire Department – Cash Shortage (2014M-113)


Released: August 8, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the Department’s internal controls over its financial operations for the period January 1, 2009 through March 13, 2014.

Background

The Almond Volunteer Fire Department is located in the Village of Almond in Allegany and Steuben Counties. The Department, consisting of approximately 25 active members, operates under its own established bylaws. The bylaws establish the governing body with the following positions responsible for Department operations: President, Vice President, Chief, two Assistant Chiefs, Secretary and Treasurer.

Key Findings

  • The former Treasurer was able to misappropriate approximately $22,000 from January 2009 through December 2013 without detection by Department officials.
  • Department officials did not establish adequate internal controls over the cash receipts process, including policies and procedures requiring certain activity records.
  • Department officials did not establish adequate internal controls over the cash disbursements process. While Department bylaws state that the Treasurer is responsible for all financial activity, they do not detail the Department’s expectations concerning the audit of claims, recording of claims, and information required to be maintained and reported to the governing body.
  • Department officials had not audited the Treasurer’s records from 2009 through 2013.

Key Recommendations

  • Take action to recover the missing funds identified in this report.
  • Develop and include internal controls in the Department’s bylaws to help ensure that all cash receipts − including fundraising receipts − are properly recorded, accounted for and deposited.
  • Develop and include internal controls in the Department’s bylaws to help ensure that all cash disbursements are approved prior to payment and supporting documentation is properly maintained.
  • Annually audit the Treasurer’s records, as required in the Department’s bylaws. The completion of this audit should be noted in meeting minutes.

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