Avoiding Pitfalls

Avoiding Pitfalls are short, educational pieces to address questions asked of the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) on topics affecting local governments and others subject to the OSA's oversight. Those pieces can be found here. The information and guidance in each Avoiding Pitfall is current as of the date last published. Subsequent law or other developments may have affected their current applicability. Avoiding Pitfalls are not legal advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of legal advice.

Avoiding Pitfalls

Avoiding Pitfalls
Title Category Year
Documentation of Accounting Policies and Procedures Accounting Policies 2020
Fight Payroll Direct Deposit Fraud Accounting Policies 2021
Policy for Account Adjustments and Write-offs Accounting Policies 2020
Uncashed Checks Accounting Policies 2019
Examine Bank Statements Promptly to Preserve Potential Claims Accounting Policies, Internal Controls 2021
Internal Controls for Special Events Accounting Policies, Internal Controls 2020
Administrative Traffic Citations Administrative Penalties 2013
Fraud Risk Questions During an Audit Audits 2021
Fire Relief Association Audit Requirements – Part I Audits, Fire Department & Relief Associations 2016
Fire Relief Association Audit Requirements – Part II Audits, Fire Department & Relief Associations 2019
Audit Follow-Up Audits, Internal Controls 2021
Bonds for Public Employees and Officers Bonds 2019
Obtaining Loans or Lines of Credit Bonds 2019
Contractors' Performance and Payment Bonds Bonds, Contracting 2019
Change in Bonded Officers Bonds, Reporting Obligations 2020
County Commissioner Compensation Compensation 2018
Local Government Compensation Limit Compensation 2021
Salary Adjustments Compensation 2021
Pay and Benefits Documentation Compensation, Contracting, Employee Payroll 2020
Computer Access - Passwords Computers 2019
Computer Access by Employees Computers 2019
Dangerous E-mails Computers 2020
Payroll and Other Email Scams Targeting Employees Computers 2020
Personal Portable Computing Devices Computers 2020
Security For Portable Computing and Media Devices Computers 2018
Update Computers With Windows XP or Office 2003 Computers 2014
Computer Scams Computers, Fraud Prevention 2017
Phishing Scams Computers, Fraud Prevention 2019
Mayors and Council Members May Not Be Full-Time Permanent City Employees Conflicts of Interest 2020
Sale of Public Property to Public Officers and Employees Conflicts of Interest 2020
Contracts and Conflicts of Interest Conflicts of Interest, Contracting 2020
Contract Quotations Contracting 2020
Contracting Procedures Contracting 2019
Joint Powers Agreements – Part I Contracting 2017
Joint Powers Agreements – Part II Contracting 2017
Plowing Snow on Private Property Contracting 2021
Written Contracts Contracting 2019
Disregarding Policies is a Risk Contracting, Disbursement Process, Employee Expenses 2020
Check the CPV for Purchases over $25,000 Contracting, Purchasing 2019
Cooperative Purchasing Venture Contracting, Purchasing 2021
Monitor Contract Prices of Supplies Contracting, Purchasing 2021
Surety Deposits for Non-Minnesota Construction Contractors Contracting, Purchasing 2020
Data Practices Data Practices/Records 2020
Recording Closed Meetings Data Practices/Records 2019
Records Retention Data Practices/Records 2021
Release of Not Public Data to the State Auditor Data Practices/Records 2020
Broker Certifications Deposits & Investments 2020
Collateralization Deposits & Investments 2019
Depositories – Federal Deposit Insurance Deposits & Investments 2019
Monitoring Risks with Certificates of Deposit Deposits & Investments 2020
Disaster Recovery Plan Disaster Plan 2021
Approval of Claims Disbursement Process 2021
Claim Approval by the Governing Body Disbursement Process 2021
Credit Cards - Detailed Receipts Required Disbursement Process 2021
Electronic Funds Transfers Disbursement Process 2020
Issuance of Checks Disbursement Process 2013
Monitor Federal Grant Subrecipients Disbursement Process 2017
Multiple Signatures on Checks Disbursement Process 2020
Paying Vendors Disbursement Process 2018
Petty Cash (Imprest) Funds - Part II Disbursement Process 2021
Petty Cash (Imprest) Funds - Part III Disbursement Process 2017
Petty Cash (Imprest) Funds – Part I Disbursement Process 2020
Prompt Payment of Local Government Bills Disbursement Process 2021
Timely Recording of Expenditures Disbursement Process 2019
Town Disbursement Process Disbursement Process 2017
Documentation For Claims - Original Itemized Receipts/Invoices Disbursement Process, Internal Controls 2020
Update Bank Signature Cards Disbursement Process, Internal Controls 2019
Use of Credit Cards Disbursement Process, Internal Controls, Purchasing 2020
Claims Payment Period Disbursement Process, Purchasing 2020
Non-Travel Employee Meal Reimbursement Employee Expenses 2020
Meeting Meals for Board or Council Members Employee Expenses, Meetings, Public Purpose, Tax Issues 2020
Meal Reimbursements May Be Taxable Employee Expenses, Tax Issues 2019
Taxable Employee Expense Reimbursements Employee Expenses, Tax Issues 2020
Uniform/Clothing Allowances Employee Expenses, Tax Issues 2021
Direct Deposit of Payroll Employee Payroll 2018
Payroll Entries Employee Payroll 2020
Employee Timekeeping and Payroll Procedures Employee Payroll, Internal Controls 2019
IRS Form W-2 and Form 1099 Employee Payroll, Tax Issues 2020
Payroll-Related Tax Issues Employee Payroll, Tax Issues 2017
Approval of Relief Association Expenditures Fire Department & Relief Associations 2018
Establishing Separate Relief Association Accounts Fire Department & Relief Associations 2021
Fire Department Checking Accounts Fire Department & Relief Associations 2018
Fire State Aid in "Combination" Communities Fire Department & Relief Associations 2018
Minimum Retirement Age for Relief Association Members Fire Department & Relief Associations 2012
Municipal Ratification of Relief Association Benefit Levels Fire Department & Relief Associations 2013
Municipal Representation on Fire Relief Association Boards Fire Department & Relief Associations 2018
Donations of Gambling Funds Fire Department & Relief Associations, Gifts 2019
Donations to Fire Departments Fire Department & Relief Associations, Gifts 2021
Open Meeting Law Requirements Apply to Relief Associations Fire Department & Relief Associations, Meetings 2019
An Environment Where No "Borrowing" of Funds is Allowed Fraud Prevention 2018
Employee Fraud Fraud Prevention 2019
Employee Tips Fraud Prevention 2017
Fraud Increases During Economic Downturn Fraud Prevention 2012
Fraud Prevention - The Perception of Detection Fraud Prevention 2019
Fraud Schemes Related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Fraud Prevention 2020
Mandatory Vacations Fraud Prevention 2021
Phantom Vendors Fraud Prevention 2020
Phantom Vendors (1) Fraud Prevention 2020
The "Fraud Triangle" Fraud Prevention 2017
Use "2020" Instead of Just "20" When Dating Signatures or Documents Fraud Prevention 2020
Cash Drawer Accountability Fraud Prevention, Internal Controls 2018
Cash Register Theft Schemes: Voids and Returns Fraud Prevention, Internal Controls 2018
Indirect Cost of Fraud Fraud Prevention, Internal Controls 2018
Internal Control -- More than the Annual Audit Fraud Prevention, Internal Controls 2021
Monitoring Internal Controls Fraud Prevention, Internal Controls 2019
Segregation of Billing Duties Fraud Prevention, Internal Controls, Receipts 2019
Acceptance of Gifts to an Entity Gifts 2020
Vendor Gifts Gifts 2019
Donations to Non-Profit Entities by Governmental Units Gifts, Public Purpose 2020
Cashing Checks Internal Controls 2021
Cashing Personal or Third-Party Checks Internal Controls 2018
General Ledger Journal Entries Internal Controls 2020
Internal Control Environment Internal Controls 2020
Management Override Internal Controls 2020
Need for Cross-Training Internal Controls 2019
Reconciliations Internal Controls 2019
Reconciling Bank Balances/Federal Check 21 Act Internal Controls 2017
Risk Assessments Internal Controls 2016
School Cash Handling Procedures Internal Controls 2016
Security for Checks Internal Controls 2018
Segregation of Duties - Part I Internal Controls 2018
Segregation of Duties - Part II Internal Controls 2018
Small Entities: Review of Checks Internal Controls 2017
Municipal Liquor Store Internal Controls Internal Controls, Municipal Liquor Stores 2020
Intact Deposits Internal Controls, Receipts 2020
Pre-numbered Receipts for Payments Received Internal Controls, Receipts 2020
Timely Deposits Internal Controls, Receipts 2020
Asset Inventories Inventory 2020
Unclaimed Property Inventory 2021
Approval of Town Meeting Minutes Meetings 2018
First Meeting of the Year Meetings 2021
Holding Public Body Meetings During Times of Emergency Meetings 2020
Meeting Minutes Meetings 2018
Hearings on Municipal Liquor Store Losses Municipal Liquor Stores 2019
Alcohol and Spouse/Family Expenses Public Purpose 2020
Public Funds Cannot be Used to Advocate for One Side of a Ballot Question Public Purpose 2020
Fuel Purchases Purchasing 2021
Consolidation of Cash Collection Points Receipts 2018
Schools - Cash Receipts Receipts 2012
Scrap and Salvage Proceeds Receipts 2019
Ticket Sales Receipts 2021
Accountants' Obligation to Report Evidence of Misconduct Reporting Obligations 2021
Report Evidence of Wrongdoing Reporting Obligations 2021
"Administrative" TIF Plan Modifications TIF 2021
Confirm Decertification Dates of TIF Districts TIF 2018
TIF Interfund Loans TIF 2021
Tax Identification Numbers Tax Issues 2019