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Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Hartford Central School District – Internal Controls Over Claims Processing (2012M-134)


Released: September 28, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District's internal controls over claims processing for the period April 1, 2011 to April 30, 2012.

Background

The Hartford Central School District is located in Washington County. The District is governed by the Board of Education, which comprises five elected members. The District's budgeted expenditures for the 2011-12 fiscal year were $10.3 million.

Key Finding

  • We identified internal control weaknesses in the District's claims processing function which could lead to errors or irregularities occurring and not being detected. Specifically, the account clerk is distributing checks prior to the Board auditing and approving the claims and warrants. Although our testing did not disclose the payment of any inappropriate claims, when internal controls are not adequate, such as the failure to audit and approve all claims before payment is made, the Board cannot be assured that payments made for goods and services represent legitimate and necessary charges to the District.

Key Recommendation

  • Ensure that no claim against the District, other than those allowed by Education Law, is paid prior to audit and approval by the Board.

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