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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Cortland County - Claims Audit and Check Printing (2018M-247)

Released: March 1, 2019 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether County officials ensured disbursements were for proper County purposes.

Key Findings

  • The Legislature has not audited claims since 2015.
  • The Finance Office clerks have access rights in the financial software to enter disbursements and apply the Treasurer’s signature to checks at the time of printing, without direct supervision.
  • The Treasurer did not control his signature during check printing.

Key Recommendations

The Legislature should:

  • Audit all claims or delegate its responsibility for auditing claims by establishing the office of county auditor or the office of county comptroller, in accordance with law.
  • Direct the County’s Information Technology (IT) Department to review user access rights to the financial software and modify user rights according to job duties.

The Treasurer should:

  • Control his signature when it is applied to prepared checks.
  • Discontinue assigning users access rights in the financial software.

County officials agreed with our recommendations and indicated they planned to take corrective action.


Cortland County (County) is located in the southern tier of the State. The County is governed by the County Legislature (Legislature), which is composed of 17 elected members who represent its one city, 15 towns and three villages. The Chair of the Legislature serves as the acting chief executive officer since the County Administrator position is currently vacant. The elected County Treasurer is the chief fiscal officer and oversees four clerks in the Finance Office.

Quick Facts
2018 Budgeted Appropriations$134 million
Number of Checks Printed During Audit Perioda15,230
a In the general, county road, road machinery and solid waste funds we examined

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236