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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Hawthorne Cedar Knolls Union Free School District – Internal Controls Over Wire Transfers (2016M-183)

Released: July 22, 2016 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review internal controls over the District’s wire transfer process for the period July 1, 2014 through March 21, 2016.


The Hawthorne Cedar Knolls Union Free School District is located in Westchester County. The District, which serves approximately 390 students in cooperation with the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services, is governed by an appointed seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled $22 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not adopted policies addressing electronic banking transactions and District officials have not developed written procedures for wire transfers; there is also a lack of segregation of duties in the wire transfer process.
  • Although the District has an agreement with each bank and all three banks offer various security controls such as callback verification of transactions and email confirmation of those transactions, the District has not used those services.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt electronic banking policies and establish written procedures regarding wire transfers that ensure the duties of initiating, authorizing and recording wire transfer transactions are adequately segregated.
  • Include security controls in the written agreement with the banks in which District funds have been deposited.

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