The Erie County Clerk’s Office will hire outside accountants to examine how cash is handled in the Registrar Division.
County Clerk Chris Jacobs sought the review as the office works to implement a new accounting system to track the way transactions are handled in the division, which handles land records, court papers and other recorded documents.
The County Legislature on Thursday authorized County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz to sign a contract with Tronconi Segarra & Associates to review cash collections and disbursements within the Registrar Division of the County Clerk’s Office from January 2011 through September 2012. Up to $25,000 for the contract will come from the clerk’s 2012 budget.
The County Comptroller’s Office earlier this year flagged the lack of a double-entry accounting system in the Clerk’s Office, noting that the office relies heavily on Excel spreadsheets to maintain financial records.
“The current system does not allow for an audit trail and provides little, if any, assurance of reliability as the spreadsheets can easily be manipulated,” the county auditors found after a review of the office.
The Registrar Division processes about 17,000 transactions a month and records cash receipts of about $5 million monthly, according to the Clerk’s Office.
The county selected Tronconi Segarra & Associates after soliciting proposals from accounting firms for the work. Four other companies also submitted proposals. The firm also will make recommendations for implementing a new accounting system in the Registrar Division.
The Legislature on Thursday also authorized a contract for up to $8,000 to hire the accounting firm The Bonadio Group to conduct a quality review of the Division of Audit and Control in the county Comptroller’s Office. The review is required every three years.
The approval came after Comptroller David J. Shenk halted work the accounting firm had started last month because the contract had not yet been approved by the Legislature. Shenk has said his office was mistakenly advised that the contract did not need Legislature approval because it was under $10,000.
The Bonadio Group was selected out of six proposals submitted for the work.