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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Saranac – Payroll (2014M-289)

Released: December 5, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if Town officials established effective internal controls over payroll for the period January 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014.


The Town of Saranac is located in Clinton County and has a population of approximately 4,000. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board, which consists of the Town Supervisor and four Board members, and is responsible for general oversight of Town operations and finances. The Town’s 2014 budgeted appropriations are approximately $2.12 million.

Key Findings

  • There were no comprehensive written policies and procedures over processing payroll and leave time accruals.
  • The Secretary and the building maintenance worker earned and used 174.50 hours of vacation and sick leave, when there was no Board approval authorizing these benefits.
  • The blank payroll check stock was not safeguarded because it was kept in an unlocked filing cabinet in the Secretary’s office and was accessible to other Town employees.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt comprehensive payroll processing and leave time accrual policies and procedures that incorporate the duties to be completed and records to be maintained for processing payrolls and maintaining leave records.
  • Ensure the Secretary and building maintenance employee discontinue using leave time, unless the Board takes action to authorize leave time for these employees.
  • Ensure that blank check stock is accessible only to individuals authorized to sign checks.

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