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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Willsboro Fire Department – Financial Operations (2014M-206)


Released: October 10, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate internal controls over the Department’s financial operations for the period January 1, 2013 through April 30, 2014.

Background

The Willsboro Fire Department is located in the Town of Willsboro in Essex County. The Department provides fire protection and other emergency services to Willsboro Fire District residents. The Department deposited $20,428 and disbursed $22,718 during 2013.

Key Findings

  • The Department’s bylaws did not address the Department’s financial activities, except for requiring the Department Treasurer to prepare and submit monthly reports to Department officials. Department officials also did not establish any written policies and procedures providing guidance and internal controls relating to financial activities.
  • The bylaws did not specify which Department officials are responsible for overseeing the financial records and reporting activities.
  • The Department’s accounting records were not adequately maintained for the Department’s nine bank accounts.
  • The Department Treasurer did not provide Department officials with written monthly financial reports at monthly meetings as required by the Department’s bylaws.
  • Department officials did not review and approve all bills prior to payment or document approval in the minutes. Instead, Department officials stated that disbursements made by the Department Treasurer were verbally discussed among Department officials.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish and adopt comprehensive financial policies to assist in safeguarding Department assets, including policies for cash receipts and disbursements.
  • Review and revise the Department’s bylaws to include the Department officials responsible for overseeing the Department’s financial activities.
  • Maintain accurate, complete and up-to-date accounting records. Perform monthly bank reconciliations for all Department bank accounts and present the reconciliations, bank statements and cancelled check images to Department officials for review.
  • Prepare and submit written monthly and annual financial reports to Department officials for review.
  • Review and approve all disbursements prior to payment and document the approval in the 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