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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Persia – Town Clerk (2012M-30)


Released: May 25, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the Town Clerk’s financial management for the period January 1, 2010, through January 6, 2012.

Background

The Town of Persia is located in Cattaraugus County and has a population of approximately 2,600. The Town is governed by the Town Board which comprises the elected Town Supervisor and four elected Board members. The Clerk was responsible for collecting approximately $1.3 million annually in Town and County taxes.

Key Findings

  • Internal controls over cash receipts in the Clerk’s office were not appropriately designed or operating effectively. The Clerk did not issue duplicate receipts, adequately record certain receipts or make deposits timely and intact.
  • The Clerk did not perform monthly accountability analyses.
  • The Board failed to audit the records of the Clerk as required. Had the Board ensured that proper controls were in place, it may have been able to detect or prevent the shortage of approximately $507 in Clerk receipts as of October 17, 2011, the shortage of $240 in 2010 tax receipts, and the overage of $899 in 2011 tax receipts.

Key Recommendations

  • Issue duplicate press-numbered receipts where no other form of receipt is available. Ensure that all moneys collected by the Clerk are deposited timely and intact.
  • Perform an accountability analysis by comparing known liabilities to available cash on a monthly basis.
  • Audit the Clerk’s records and report and document the results in the Board minutes. The Board should also provide oversight of the tax collection process including the settlement with the County.

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