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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Cortlandville Fire Department – Internal Controls (2014M-3)

Released: March 21, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine internal controls over the Department’s financial operations for the period January 1, 2012 through November 8, 2013.


The Cortlandville Fire Department is located in Cortland County. It is operated in accordance with its by-laws and governed by a seven-member Board of Directors. The Department’s revenues totaled approximately $135,350 and expenses approximately $236,850 for the 2013 fiscal year.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not implement adequate controls over the Department’s financial activities, develop adequate policies and procedures, or adopt a code of ethics.
  • The by-laws do not include any detailed financial procedures that would adequately segregate the duties of day-to-day financial operations.
  • As of November 2013 the Treasurer had not recorded the monthly lottery transactions since February 2013.
  • The board did not audit receipts and disbursements, bank statements and other financial records as required by the by-laws.
  • Seven electronic payments totaling $2,284 did not have adequate supporting documentation.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt detailed written policies and procedures to ensure a strong system of internal controls over the Department’s financial operations. Adopt a code of ethics as required by law.
  • Implement mitigating controls over the Treasurer’s and Lottery Account Clerk’s financial activities, such as reviewing monthly financial reports (including the approved list of bills) and comparing these reports to the bank statements and canceled check images.
  • Record all transactions in a timely manner.
  • Comply with the Department’s by-laws by auditing the records monthly and reporting the results of those audits to the membership in June and December.
  • Ensure that all disbursements are properly supported prior to approval and payment and that the membership’s approval of disbursements is noted in the Department minutes.

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