Massena Central School audit turns up no major errors
Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 11:37 am

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA -- An external audit of the Massena Central School District’s books had no major findings, only minor suggestions.

“There were no adjustments of any significance … that means the numbers you’re getting all along are probably pretty good,” Seyfarth told the Board of Education. “You cleaned up a lot of the issues you had last year.”

Carl Seyfarth of Seyfarth and Seyfarth CPAs, Malone said student organizations need to step up their bookkeeping. The audit said many student clubs lacked a constitution, don’t have records of meeting minutes, and don’t have proper bank reconciliations or student-maintained cash logs.

“Without a proper system in place and oversight by the students, there is a potential for misappropriation of student funds,” Seyfarth and Seyfarth wrote to the board. The letter noted that student funds were being used to pay license and registration fees on a district-owned trailer.

“The kids really are a key internal control,” Seyfarth told the board.

He also suggested management receive regular training for reporting non-routine spending. The letter cited accounting for equipment trades, advance refunding of debt and capitalization/amortization of bond costs.

“Since the items mentioned are not routine, and accounting disclosure requirements continually change, management should receive ongoing training in this area,” the letter reads.

Lastly, the audit cited the district for paying out stipends and automatic payments.

The letter noted that some stipends aren’t authorized by either contracts or the board, but it didn’t specify.

It also said some automatic payments are not being properly reported to the internal auditor, but didn’t get specific.

“If the internal claims auditor does not audit all of the District’s payments, there is a risk that inappropriate claims could be paid,” the letter reads.