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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Report Highlights

Madison County - Claims Audit and Payment Process (2019M-142)

Released: January 17, 2020 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether internal controls over the claims audit and payment process were adequately designed and operating effectively.

Key Findings

  • The Board of Supervisors (Board) and the Boardof Health (BOH) did not audit their respective claims before payment.
  • Our review of 382 claims totaling $3.5 million disclosed that 121 claims totaling $752,749 lacked adequate support or documentation showing receipt of goods or services. In addition, claims totaling $1.3 million were paid without Board approval.
  • The Treasurer did not control the check signing process for computer generated checks and allowed a credit card vendor to directly withdraw $1.9 million in monthly payments from a County bank account.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure all claims are audited and approved prior to payment when required by law.
  • Ensure all claims contain sufficient detail and supporting documentation prior to approval.
  • Ensure the Treasurer controls her signature when it is applied to checks.
  • Discontinue allowing the credit card vendor to directly withdraw funds from County bank accounts.

County officials disagreed with certain aspects of our findings and recommendations, but indicated they have initiated or planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comments on issues raised in the County’s response letter.


Madison County (County) is located in central New York State and encompasses 15 towns, nine villages and a city. The County is governed by the Board of Supervisors composed of 19 members, one of whom serves as the Chair. The BOH is composed of nine members appointed by the Board.

The Director of Finance oversees the accounting, payroll, and financial reporting functions. The elected County Treasurer (Treasurer) is the chief fiscal officer and custodian of funds.

Quick Facts
2018 Appropriations$115 million
Claims Paid During Audit Perioda$147 million
aOur audit excluded public assistance disbursements processed by the County’s Department of Social Services, which were not within the scope of our audit.

Audit Period

January 1, 2017 – September 30, 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