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NYS Comptroller


Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Saranac Central School District – Payroll (2015M-298)

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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District’s payroll procedures for the period July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.


The Saranac Central School District is located in the Towns of Beekmantown, Black Brook, Dannemora, Plattsburgh, Saranac and Schuyler Falls in Clinton County. The District, which operates four schools with approximately 1,470 students, is governed by an elected seven-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year total approximately $31.7 million.

Key Findings

  • The payroll clerk’s duties were not adequately segregated because she was responsible for collecting employees’ time records; recording the hours worked or salaries to be paid; making changes to employees’ pay rates, withholdings and deductions and having access to paychecks until she disbursed them to District employees.
  • The Superintendent did not compare the payroll registers with payroll source documents (i.e., time records) to ensure that payments were based on the actual hours or days worked and Board-authorized hourly rates or annual salaries.

Key Recommendations

  • District officials should implement compensating controls to address the lack of segregation of duties within the payroll process. Such controls include ensuring that oversight procedures are performed as directed by the Board-adopted payroll policy and increasing management reviews of work performed by the payroll clerk.
  • The Superintendent, or in his absence the Business Administrator, should compare payroll registers to payroll source documents when certifying payrolls to ensure that payments are based on actual hours or days worked and Board-authorized hourly rates or annual salaries.

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