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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Hoags Corners Volunteer Fire Company, Inc. – Internal Controls (2014M-09)


Released: April 4, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess Fire Company controls over financial activities for the period January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013.

Background

The Hoags Corners Volunteer Fire Company is located in Rensselaer County and provides fire protection services to the residents of Hoags Corners Fire District No. 1. The Company’s revenues for the 2012 fiscal year totaled $68,360 and operating expenditures totaled $80,477.

Key Findings

  • The by-laws provide limited guidance pertaining to issuing receipts. For example, although the by-laws require timely deposits, "timely" is not defined in the by-laws.
  • The Treasurer does not issue any receipts for collections whether she receives them directly or when collections are received by other Company members.
  • We found all the disbursements were for legitimate Company purposes, properly recorded, and reviewed and authorized by the Board. However, we found that 117 of the 152 checks only had one signature instead of the two required signatures. During 2013, the current Treasurer ensured that there were two signatures on checks.
  • The Board established a "best practices" policy for use of debit cards. However, the term "best practices" is vague, and the guidance provided in the policy is very limited and does not indicate whether pre-approval by a Company official is required before someone uses the debit card.

Key Recommendations

  • Revise the by-laws to define the timeframe in which collections are to be deposited after being received.
  • Ensure that the Treasurer issues receipts for all collections received, even those collected by other members.
  • Continue to ensure that two signatures are provided for all cash disbursements in accordance with the by-laws. The bank should be notified that two signatures are required on all Company checks.
  • Strengthen the policy for the use of debit cards including a requirement for authorization prior to the use of the card.

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