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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

South Colonie Central School District – Internal Controls Over Timekeeping Procedures (2013M-298)


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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the internal controls over the District’s timekeeping procedures for the period July 1, 2011 to April 30, 2013.

Background

The South Colonie Central School District is located in the Towns of Colonie and Guilderland in Albany County, and the Town of Niskayuna in Schenectady County. The District is governed by the Board of Education which comprises nine elected members. The District’s general fund expenditures for the 2012-13 fiscal year were approximately $89 million, funded primarily with real property taxes and State aid. Payroll costs totaled approximately $52 million for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

Key Finding

  • Although the District has implemented procedures and controls over the payroll process, there is room for improvement due to the lack of uniformity in timekeeping procedures and forms. Due to the lack of specific guidance and uniformity for timekeeping procedures, we tested computerized data and records for samples of employees, including substitutes, working for different functional departments and school buildings. Our tests included regular hours, overtime and the use of accrued leave time such as sick leave. For example, we selected six of 64 employees with custodial titles, eight of 83 employees with bus driver titles and five of 55 employees with food service titles. Except for minor deficiencies that we discussed with District officials, we found that the controls over timekeeping were adequate to limit the risks associated with a lack of specific guidance and uniform procedures. However, the District can strengthen the controls over timekeeping by establishing and implementing uniformity of procedures and forms.

Key Recommendation

  • Implement uniform timekeeping procedures that include individual employee timekeeping forms. The forms should provide detail about the hours employees actually work and should include the employees’ signatures and the signatures of their supervisors which indicate agreement with the accuracy of the employees’ information on the forms.

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