Copenhagen Fire Department – Controls Over Financial Activities (2015M-270)

Issued Date
December 18, 2015

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine whether the Department’s controls were adequate to ensure that financial activity was properly recorded and reported and that money was safeguarded for the period January 1, 2014 through July 31, 2015.


The Copenhagen Fire Department is located in the Town of Denmark, Lewis County. The Department, which contracts with the Village of Copenhagen and the Towns of Denmark, Champion, Harrisburg and Pinckney to provide fire protection services, is governed by an elected 13-member Board of Directors. Expenditures for 2014 totaled $171,620.

Key Findings

  • The Board has not established an effective system of controls over the cash receipt and disbursement activities of the Department and its Drill Team.
  • Department officials do not audit the accounts of the Treasurer and the Drill Team’s chief financial officer.
  • Neither the Board nor the membership reviews debit card transactions.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide oversight including a review of the Department’s bank statements, canceled checks, monthly bank reconciliations and other financial records, including those of the Drill Team.
  • Ensure that an annual audit of the Department Treasurer’s and the Drill Team’s chief financial officer’s records is performed by the Department’s audit committee.
  • Consider the use of credit cards in place of debit cards or preauthorize purchases so the Board is able to review and approve purchases prior to paying the related claims.