Payroll/Employee Benefits

Shared Services Among New York’s Local Governments Best Practices and Tips for Success

The report reinforces the importance of cooperation and consolidation in achieving local cost efficiencies, especially during these times of fiscal uncertainty. The report also provides tips to local officials interested in exploring greater degrees of cooperation with other local governments, promotes further exploration of service delivery on a regional basis and lists many resources available on these topics. 

Excess Funds in Employee Benefit Accrued Liability Reserves (EBALR) - Report to the New York State Legislature

School districts can use EBALR moneys to make cash payments to employees for accrued leave time due to them when they leave school district employment. OSC certified the excess EBALR funds that school districts had reserved, but could not legally use, so district officials could put these moneys to productive use to pay for operating costs. 

Red Flags for Fraud

Why didn’t you see it? There was fraud and you missed it. Conducting a “should of” after a fraud happens may show that red flags were present. If you had only recognized the warning signs, then that loss may not have occurred or been substantially reduced. Based on a recent survey by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), occupational fraud substantially increases organizational costs. It is a myth that fraud is a big scheme that should have been uncovered sooner and easy to detect.

The Practice of Internal Controls

The purpose of this management guide is to provide practical information about internal controls for local government financial operations. The control procedures discussed in this guide are presented in an easy reference format which lists individual controls (for specific financial areas) and the reasons why the control is important. Choosing the right internal controls and ensuring that they are consistently applied will help ensure that local governments are using public assets efficiently and protecting against loss, waste and abuse

Understanding the Budget Process

This guide is a resource for those governing bodies and officials who are responsible for preparing, developing, and monitoring the annual budget. The following is an overview of the information contained in this guide: • Who is Responsible? • Information Used to Prepare the Budget • Budget Preparation Process • Putting the Tentative Budget Together • Implementing the Budget • Monitoring the Budget

Cost-Saving Ideas: Managing Workers' Compensation Costs

You must provide your employees workers’ compensation coverage as a mandatory benefit. Local governments can get insurance for workers’ compensation in one of four ways:

  • Purchase a policy from a private sector insurance carrier
  • Purchase a policy from the New York State Insurance Fund
  • Become self-insured as authorized by the Workers' Compensation Law
  • Participate in a county self-insurance plan as authorized by the Workers' Compensation Law

Cost-Saving Ideas: Minimizing Unemployment Insurance Costs

You can take steps to reduce the cost of unemployment insurance, which provides short-term financial assistance to people who become unemployed through no fault of their own. The New York State Department of Labor (DOL) determines who qualifies for benefits and individual employers fund their own programs.

Cost-Saving Ideas: Overtime Planning and Management

Reducing the cost of employee salaries and benefits by even a small percentage can result in significant savings.

Employee salaries and benefits, including pension benefits, are large expenses for New York's local governments and school districts. These costs represent nearly 57 percent of annual budget expenditures, on average.

Overtime wages can significantly increase personal service1 and pension costs. For example, 8 to 30 percent of wages paid to highway employees in New York State are for overtime.