State audit of Colton-Pierrepont Central School finds some controls lacking, but no improper payments
COLTON – An audit of Colton-Pierrepont Central School District financial duties found problem’s with the district clerk’s payroll duties and failure to adequately control her electronic signature.
While the auditors, from the state Comptroller’s Office, found no improper payments, “there is still a risk that improper disbursements or payment errors could occur and remain undetected,” auditors reported.The district clerk’s payroll duties were inadequately segregated, including preparing bank reconciliations and controlling all phases of the payroll process, the auditors found.
Among the auditors’ recommendations were:
• district officials should assign financial duties so that the work of one employee independently verifies the work of another, in the course of their regular duties. Where incompatible duties cannot be segregated, district officials should establish compensating controls such as supervisory reviews
• the claims auditor should provide the treasurer with a certified warrant authorizing the treasurer to pay the approved claim
• the treasurer should maintain control of her electronic signature and affix her signature to the checks or supervise the signature process for all checks, and review printed checks and compare them to the certified payroll registers and warrants before disbursement to ensure that the checks are properly authorized.
The district agreed to take steps to address shortcomings found in the audit findings and agreed to adopt measures such as having the superintendent extend duties to include signing off on bank reconciliations monthly.
“We would further like to recognize the improved audit processes of the Office of the State Comptroller providing a partnership to encourage improvement rather than a process to simply fid something negative to report,” the response letter signed by Superintendent Joseph Kardash and Board of Education President Scott Baxter said.
“Our processes have improved as a result of this audit,” they said.