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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Austerlitz – Internal Controls Over Payroll and Fuel Inventory (2014M-365)

Released: March 6, 2015 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine controls over payroll and fuel inventory for the period January 1, 2013 through April 25, 2014.


The Town of Austerlitz is located in Columbia County and has a population of approximately 1,600. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board. Budgeted appropriations for 2014 totaled approximately $1.62 million.

Key Findings

  • Payroll duties were not properly segregated, since the Town’s accountant was responsible for processing payrolls, creating checks, making adjustments to the payroll system and reconciling the payroll bank account.
  • Department heads are not required to sign time cards showing their approval.
  • The Town does not take a physical inventory of its fuel and does not reconcile fuel purchases and usage.

Key Recommendations

  • Segregate the duties over payroll processing or implement compensating controls to ensure that the payroll is accurate.
  • Review payroll records for error.
  • Document procedures to ensure that the fuel supply is periodically measured and that adequate fuel inventory records are maintained.

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