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Financial Policy

The Hepburn Library of Lisbon is committed to responsible and accurate record keeping of all financial data. 

The library Board of Trustees is authorized by the New York State Education Department to spend its annual budget allocation such that the library is operating to meet state minimum standards and achieve its mission to the community. The Board is responsible to ensure that public funds, donations, and bequests are handled with the utmost of care. 

Access to Accounts

The library board appoints two persons to act on behalf of the library board with regards to banking and investments: a Treasurer and an alternate. 


The library maintains a number of bank accounts designed to keep donations and bequests separate from taxpayer funds. Taxpayer funds are generally used for the day-to-day operations and expenses of the library while donations and bequests are often restricted to the wishes of the donor. 

Petty Cash

The library board has approved an annual allocation of petty cash in the amount of $100 at the start of each year. That amount is balanced and closed at the end of the fiscal year. Petty cash shall be handled as follows:

  • The petty cash shall be divided at the start of the year into two amounts: $35 to be kept in the cash drawer and $65 to be kept in storage at another location in the building. 
  • Payments for community room rentals, incidental expenses, overdue fines, and fees for lost/damaged materials shall be collected as cash, money order, or check. The library does not accept credit or debit cards within the library. The North Country Library System does offer online payments, and those funds are collected by NCLS and distributed to member libraries annually by electronic funds transfer. 

The library does not accept Canadian funds.

  • Payments for overdue fines and lost materials shall be entered into Workflows as a credit to the patron’s library card. 
  • Paper Receipts are issued at the patron’s request.
  • Petty cash is generally not used by staff to make purchases. All purchases should be paid by staff personal funds and reimbursed via a voucher. Emergency expenditures from petty cash must be approved by the Director and appropriate documentation (receipts, etc.) submitted.
  • On or about the first of each month, two library staff members shall count the petty cash and complete a Petty Cash Reconciliation Form. A copy of the form is placed with the money in an envelope to go to the bank. The original form is to be signed by both staff members, and then signed by the Treasurer (or alternate) when possession is taken. The original form with signatures is kept on file at the library and reconciled against the deposit slip and bank statement. 

Payment of Invoices

Under the authority of the library board, the Treasurer is authorized to make recurring payments for products and services when presented with a voucher, invoice, bill, or receipt. 

Non-emergency expenses that are not anticipated as part of the annual budget generally require pre-authorization by the board.

Purchasing Policy

The Hepburn Library of Lisbon Board of Trustees has adopted a purchasing policy that complies with State, Federal, and Local laws.

The Director is responsible for seeing that employees comply with this policy. Employees involved with making purchases should be familiar with this policy. All purchasing must be done through the Director.

All purchases, when possible, shall be made using approved library accounts with approved library vendors. When necessary, staff may use personal funds to make library purchases. 

Reimbursement of Expenses

On occasion, staff or trustees must use personal funds on behalf of the library. Reimbursement of expenses is done as follows:

  • All requests for reimbursement must be on a written voucher as supplied by the Director. 
  • The voucher must include the date, a description, and amount for each line item.
  • Documentation for purchases must include the original invoice, bill, or receipt.
  • Mileage for travel related to library business is reimbursed at the current year’s rate as established by the Internal Revenue Service. Mileage should closely match, and may be verified with, an internet mapping source such as Google Maps or MapQuest.
  • The Director shall submit for payment all staff and trustee vouchers with the exception of his/her own. Vouchers and expenses for the Director must be reviewed and approved by a trustee other than the Treasurer.
  • The Treasurer shall not write checks to him/herself. All vouchers for the Treasurer shall be paid by the alternate. 

Responsibilities of the Director

Under the authority of the library board, the Director is authorized to spend the annual budget allocation to operate the library on a day-to-day basis. The Director is responsible for:

  • Submitting payroll expenses to an approved payroll company on a bi-weekly basis to ensure that employees are paid on the approved schedule as outlined in the Employee Handbook. 
  • Ensuring all bills and invoices are accurate when compared to orders placed, packing slips received, and anticipated costs. 
  • Preparing vouchers, including payment envelopes and postage, for the Treasurer to review.
  • Maintaining the annual budget spreadsheet to include all income and expenses as they relate specifically to the fields outlined in the financial section of the New York State Annual Library Report, and collaborate with the Treasurer to ensure the annual report is complete and without error.
  • Collaborating as necessary with the Treasurer to ensure the annual audit in January is complete and accurate. 

Responsibilities of the Treasurer

The Treasurer is responsible for:

  • Ensuring monthly deposits are made in a timely manner.
  • Reviewing debits by the payroll company to ensure that salaries and hourly wages accurately reflect the hours worked by employees. 
  • Reviewing and paying all expenses when presented with a voucher and either an invoice, bill, or receipt.
  • Recording all debits, credits, and running balances in the check register.
  • Setting up and monitoring any direct deposits.
  • Setting up and monitoring any electronic withdrawals.
  • Reconciling accounts on a monthly basis to printed bank statements.
  • Performing an annual audit in January to ensure that the fiscal year-end balances maintained by the Director and Treasurer are the same.
  • Collaborating as necessary with the Director to ensure the financial section of the New York State Annual Library Report is complete and without error. 
  • The alternate shall write checks on an as-needed basis in the absence of the Treasurer, or when reimbursing the Treasurer for any expenses incurred. Only one signature is required on a check.