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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Northern Onondaga Public Library District – Cash Disbursements (2013M-236)

Released: November 8, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Board provides adequate oversight of the District’s process for cash disbursements for the period January 1, 2012, to January 31, 2013.


The Northern Onondaga Public Library District is located in the Towns of Clay and Cicero in Onondaga County. A 12-member Board of Trustees governs the District and is elected by District residents. The 2013 budgeted operating expenditures are approximately $2.6 million.

Key Findings

The Board needs to improve controls over cash disbursements to ensure that cash is properly safeguarded.

  • Board members and the Treasurer do not audit each claim prior to the bookkeeper preparing the disbursements and no one reviews the processed payroll reports prior to disbursement or regularly reviews prepared bank reconciliations.
  • The administrative secretary is allowed to apply the Board President’s signature with a stamp to payroll disbursements.
  • The Board has allowed the bookkeeper − who is a vendor − direct access to District bank accounts to withdraw funds for claims that have not been reviewed by the Board members and Treasurer.
  • District officials also have not adequately restricted online banking access rights to ensure the security of funds and the Director, administrative secretary, Treasurer, and bookkeeper share the same user name and password for the online banking function.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that disbursements are not made until the related claims have been audited and approved for payment. Require that the Director reviews and certifies payroll reports prior to the distribution of paychecks and direct deposits. Review the monthly bank reconciliations and cancelled checks.
  • Do not allow payroll checks to be signed using a signature stamp.
  • Do not allow the bookkeeper access to the District’s bank account to withdraw funds for monthly service fees.
  • Restrict the online bank account access so that only those with disbursement authority have the ability to make bank transfers. Do not allow online banking users to share user names and passwords.

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