Tonawanda News — According to the comptroller’s report, the department did not properly audit the bar’s records every three months and report its findings. Bar committee members “routinely” paid for bar purchases with cash from the bar’s revenues without consulting with the department’s treasurer.
“These purchases should have been paid by the treasurer after they were reviewed and approved for payment by the board. Furthermore, although company by-laws require the treasurer to make all company deposits, the treasurer did not do so,” the comptroller’s report reads.
The co-chairman of the bar then deposited cash from the bar sales in the bank once each month and did not compare the amount deposited to the cash reports showing what was collected. He left about $1,000 in a safe for committee members to use for bar purchases.
The comptroller’s office issued four recommendations to the fire department’s board:
• The board should require bar committee members to have a second member present while conducting cash counts and adding or removing cash from the safe.
• The treasurer should deposit all bar cash collections in the bank more frequently than once each month.
• The board should review and approve invoices representing the purchase of bar supplies prior to the treasurer making payment.
• The company audit committee should conduct an audit of the bar’s financial activity and report its findings to the board. The report should include comparisons of cash reports to the amount deposited.
Kuebler, said the board recognizes the problems and has taken steps to correct them. The board is preparing a written correction action plan and will provide the comptroller’s office with proof of its implementation, Kuebler wrote.
The board “acknowledges the issue of unaccounted-for bar cash. The explanation of that shortfall is, in essence, gratuity to volunteer members who serve as bartenders,” Kuebler said.