Typical problem on a small office: Inability to segregate duties

03 June, 2014: One of the problems that are noted after an audit was made at Butler County Fiscal Court and Jail is the lack of segregation of duties especially for Fiscal Court receipts which was released by the state auditor Adam Edelen. However, Butler County Judge-Executive David Fields in answer to these findings said that problems like that do really exist on a small county with a small office. No matter how they try to remove this thing, it just won’t because it is a symptom that continuously affects them.

Inefficient delegation of tasks at the Fiscal Court

The audit has seen that a county treasurer is performing various tasks.
• Deposits the receipt
• Posts transactions to the accounting system
• Prepares reports to be submitted to the Department for Local Government
• Prepares other financial documentations necessary

In response to these notes the Executive asserts that it is something that is so difficult to avoid considering the operation is made on a small office.

Lack of segregation of duties for jail commissary too

The bookkeeper performs many tasks too which includes
• Preparation of deposits and daily checkout sheets
• Posting it to the receipts ledger
• Preparation of monthly collection and disbursement reports
• Writing and signing of the checks
• Posting it to the disbursements ledger
• Preparation of monthly bank reconciliations

These are the tasks identified by the audit which shows that one staff are given numerous tasks. It must be noted that having too many tasks can sometimes lead one to be inefficient because they sometimes don’t know which to prioritize especially when all duties are of the same level of importance. One becomes confuse on what comes first. It is a fact that when one does not concentrate on one thing only, the focus is lost. This is where multitasking comes in. Staffs do tasks all together, thus making the output sometimes undesirable.

When one becomes too busy and the mind becomes crowded, arrangement of things is being sacrificed. For instance, another problem arises such as the inability to document jail commissary expenditures for easy tracking of where the fund is going.

To give action to what the audit has noted, the administrative deputy said that another employee will now take charge of the signing of all deposits and checks but the jailer will still oversee all the deposits made, so there is still a monitoring.

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