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Auditors find weaknesses in village of Cape Vincent’s internal controls

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CAPE VINCENT — A recent audit found that village government needs to address internal control weaknesses.

“The village has insufficient controls over payroll processing to prevent and detect any potential errors,” auditors with Bowers & Co., Syracuse, said in their report for the village’s 2011-12 fiscal year, which ended May 31.

For instance, they said, the superintendent of the village’s Department of Public Works is responsible for approving time cards for his department and the village clerk is responsible for entering time from time cards, processing payroll and signing payroll checks “without any other oversight.”

Also, the report said, there is a “lack of segregation of duties” among the individuals responsible for recording payables and preparing and signing checks.

“We recommend that two members of the Board of Trustees be responsible for signing all checks and that checks be signed along with review of the supporting invoices in order to create a separation of duties and to allow the Board of Trustees to prevent and detect misstatement on a timely basis,” auditors said.

Mayor Timothy D. Maloney acknowledged that although the village has never had problems related to embezzlement, it can happen. He said the village board will “take the recommendations into consideration” to prevent such incidents.

Additionally, auditors said the village “does not record the disposition or depreciation of capital assets and does not meet disclosure requirements as required by Governmental Accounting Standards Board.” But they said the cost of hiring a professional consultant to compile the village’s capital assets “may be higher than the village wants to pay to comply.”

The report said there were “no significant deficiencies” related to the audit of major federal funds awarded to the village government, which was the primary reason the independent audit was conducted.

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