North Syracuse Central School District – Payroll Access and Certification (2016M-178)

Issued Date
July 29, 2016

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the District’s controls over payroll user access and payroll certifications for the period July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2015.


The North Syracuse Central School District is located in the Towns of Cicero, Clay and Salina, Onondaga County. The District, which operates 10 schools with approximately 8,750 students, is governed by an elected nine-member Board of Education. Budgeted appropriations for the 2015-16 fiscal year totaled approximately $151 million.

Key Findings

  • Seven individuals had access to functions in the payroll system that were not required to fulfill their assigned job duties.
  • The District’s payroll certification procedures do not require the accountant to trace the payroll amounts to source documents for the payment of salaried employees, professional development hours or substitute employees’ days worked.
  • The payroll certification procedures do not require the use of payroll change reports; instead, they require verifying the biweekly gross paycheck of salaried employees against the information in the payroll financial system.

Key Recommendations

  • Review the access rights granted to current users and ensure that all users’ access rights are limited to those functions needed to perform their job duties.
  • Ensure that the employee designated to certify payrolls compares payroll register information to payroll source documents, such as sign-in sheets and certificates of completion, as part of the certification process.
  • Ensure that the payroll certification procedures include the review of payroll change reports to verify that payroll changes are appropriate and properly authorized.