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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Ischua – Internal Controls over Selected Financial Operations (2012M-147)

Released: November 2, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine and evaluate internal controls over cash receipts and disbursements, and the Town’s accounting records and reports for the period January 1, 2011, through June 13, 2012.


The Town of Ischua is located in Cattaraugus County, in western New York State. The Town Board comprises four elected Council members and an elected Town Supervisor. The Town’s 2012 budgeted appropriations total approximately $413,000.

Key Findings

  • The Clerk should not hold the position of bookkeeper to the Supervisor because the two positions are incompatible. These positions have functions that serve as checks against one another that do not exist unless they are performed by separate individuals.
  • The current and former Supervisors routinely signed blank checks, which severely weakens controls over disbursements.
  • The former and current Supervisors did not ensure that appropriate accounting records were maintained, adequate monthly financial reports were prepared and provided to the Board for review, or that annual financial reports were completed and filed with the Office of the State Comptroller as required.

Key Recommendations

  • Designate a person other than the Clerk as the Town’s bookkeeper.
  • Discontinue the practice of signing blank checks and immediately void those currently on hand.
  • Ensure that the Town’s accounting records are complete, accurate, and maintained in a timely manner. Ensure that the Supervisor submits the annual report to OSC in a timely manner, as required by statute.

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