February 6, 2012

Maragos: Audit Finds Petty Cash Policy Not Being Enforced in Nassau County Police Department

Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos released his audit of the Nassau County Police Department’s Petty Cash Accounts and found inadequate control of access and usage of petty cash accounts. Major findings included the Police Department not sending reconciliations to the Treasurer’s Office for over a year, individual police officers not returning excess petty cash from their travel expenses in a timely manner, and providing improper documentation for miscellaneous petty cash.

"While the overall sum of money the Police Department has failed to return is minor the lack of discipline to follow the County’s petty cash policy is concerning,” Comptroller Maragos said. “I am glad the Department has agreed with most of our recommendations and will begin to have strict oversight over the use of petty cash.”

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano stated, "I directed Nassau's new police commissioner to review Comptroller Maragos' audit and to implement his recommendations."

The audit found improper use and a lack of supporting documentation of Miscellaneous Petty Cash.  Three vouchers were found totaling $274 that had been split to stay below the $100 threshold limit, twenty four vouchers totaling $1,756 were not supported by original receipts and six vouchers totaling $448 that were not supported by receipts at all, but only packing slips with no dollar amounts listed.

One senior officer’s excess cash advance of $166 had not been returned and was 358 days overdue but recouped by the Petty Cash custodian from his reimbursement from a subsequent trip.  Excess cash is supposed to be returned within ten working days after the completion of travel. Failure to do so violates the County-wide Procedure Travel Policy, the New York State General Municipal Law and the Internal Revenue Service Business Expenses guidelines. These regulations and policies require that where any employee fails to return such excess cash advance at the time of submitting the travel voucher, the municipality shall deduct the amount of the unreturned excess advance from the salary of the employee, or added to the employees W-2.

Additionally, we determined that petty cash monthly bank reconciliations had not been sent to the County Treasurer for the period July 2009 to December 2010. The custodian informed us that copies of the missing reconciliations would be sent.

The Comptroller’s Office made a series of recommendations to strengthen petty cash controls, including:


  • Immediately implement compliance with Department and County Travel Policy guidelines and the General Municipal Law.
  • Immediately comply with the Comptroller’s and Treasurer’s Policies and Procedures by submitting, on a timely basis, monthly certified bank reconciliations to the Treasurer for review.
  • Establish single disbursement dollar limits on training and emergency expenses.

PDF File Limited Review of the Nassau County Police Department's Petty Cash Accounts