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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Wawarsing – Payroll and Leave Accruals (2013M-202)

Released: November 15, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine the accuracy of the amounts paid to employees through the Town’s payroll and the accumulation and use of leave accruals for the period January 1, 2011, to August 31, 2012.


The Town of Wawarsing is located in Ulster County and has a population of approximately 13,000. The Town Board comprises four elected members and an elected Town Supervisor. The Town’s total budget for fiscal year 2013 was approximately $5.7 million for the general fund and $3.6 million for the highway fund.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not develop hiring policies and payroll procedures for managing the Town’s payroll process. As a result, 60 employees began work and were paid $28,210 between February and June 2012 prior to the Board’s approval of their employment and pay rates.
  • Highway employees were paid $1,413 for time not worked when they left work earlier than their scheduled time, and one employee earned leave accruals to which she was not entitled.
  • Highway employees were overpaid $1,861 due to incorrect pay rates.
  • The Board failed to establish uniform and consistent procedures for employees to record the request, approval, and use of leave. As a result, leave records were not accurately maintained and may have resulted in employees receiving payment for leave time to which they were not entitled.
  • Payments totaling $8,519 were made for compensatory time without the Board’s written approval.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop policies and procedures for approving all salary and hourly wages for each position before employees start working.
  • Ensure that all employees are working the full shift for which they are compensated. Discontinue the practice of early departures, without using leave time.
  • Verify rates to either an employment agreement or Board resolution before paychecks are processed.
  • Establish a policy for leave benefits for employees who work 20 to 35 hours per week, including leave accruals.
  • Ensure that written permission or approval is available for all compensatory time payments in excess of 35 hours annually.

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