Cohoes Housing Authority – Internal Controls Over Payroll (2013M-373)

Issued Date
March 07, 2014

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Authority’s payroll process for the period October 1, 2012 through September 30, 2013.


The Cohoes Housing Authority (Authority) is located in the City of Cohoes (City) in Albany County and was established to provide low-rent housing for qualified individuals. The Authority’s 2013 fiscal year operating expenditures totaled approximately $1.9 million. The Board of Commissioners is comprised of seven Commissioners and is responsible for the general management and control of the Authority’s financial affairs.

Key Findings

  • Due to limited staffing at the Authority, there was no segregation of payroll-related functions. The Office Administrator performed all payroll functions with little or no supervision.
  • There is inadequate oversight of the Authority’s payroll processing and accounting for leave accruals.
  • The timekeeping system the Authority used did not allow for accurate tracking of employees’ hours worked.
  • The Board did not establish pay rates for part-time employees in either a policy or by resolution.

Key Recommendations

  • Segregate duties related to recording, authorizing and disbursing payroll to the extent possible given the limited staffing.
  • Establish adequate oversight procedures for payroll processing and for the accumulation and use of leave time.
  • Implement a timekeeping system for administrative employees that accurately records the hours worked by those employees.
  • Ensure pay rates are formalized in writing to clearly define the compensation due to employees.