General Accounting Practices

General Accounting Practices

A.       Fiscal Year:  Seymour Public Library District’s fiscal year shall be January 1st to December 31st.

B.       Accounting Method:  Seymour Public Library District shall use the Accrual Accounting Method.

C.       Classification of Assets and Expenses:  Seymour Public Library considers acquisitions exceeding $2,500 to be assets.  The exception is the “library collection”, excluding periodicals, which shall be considered an asset regardless of cost.

D.       Annual Audit:  Seymour Public Library’s files and finances will be audited annually by a qualified Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

E.       Checks over the amount of $500 require two signatures. The following positions are authorized to sign checks and transact business on behalf of Seymour Public Library District:



Library Director

Assistant Director

F.        Only the Board of Trustees, by majority vote of those trustees attending a meeting, can secure a new or change an existing bank account, credit card, or other financial account.

G.       Bidding and purchasing laws must be adhered to.  [See General Municipal Law §103 and Wicks Law, General Municipal Law §101]

H.       Only authorized personnel may place orders as specified in the authorizations section.

II.            Budget and Finance

A.       The Seymour Public Library has a board-approved written budget. This budget is developed annually as a cooperative process between the Finance Committee, the Library Director, and the Board of Trustees.

B.       The library maintains adequate records of library operations with the help of a bookkeeper, in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and in a manner easily understood by the public as well as the Board of Trustees and Library Director. This record of library operations is presented at each Board of Trustees’ monthly meeting and clearly indicates the financial position of the library. In addition to the general financial position of the library, this record clearly indicates the current position of each budgetary line item including budgeted amount, receipts, monthly and year to date expenditures, and remaining budget.

III.         Authorizations

A.       Deposits and Transfers

1.   The Library Director, Assistant Director, Bookkeeper and Treasurer of the Board of Trustees are authorized to make deposits into appropriate library accounts. Such deposits include, but are not limited to, the deposit of accumulated fees and fines, gifts, donations, grants, and tax receipts.

2.   The Library Director, Assistant Director and Treasurer of the Board are authorized to transfer funds from one library account to another library account for payment of monthly library bills.

B.       Purchases

The following library personnel are authorized to purchase any items needed for the library provided such expenditures are within the scope of the approved budget and guidelines outlined below:

·     Library Director is authorized to purchase items needed for the library as well as enter contractual arrangements for machinery and equipment.

·     Library Director is authorized to approve use of library credit cards. The Assistant Director is authorized to act in the absence of the Director.

·     The Custodian, Director or Assistant Director are permitted to place service calls necessary for building maintenance.

·     The Training & Technology Librarian is permitted to purchase office supplies as needed.

·     The Library Director is responsible for authorizing use of petty cash.

·     Librarians designated as selectors are authorized to purchase from book and A/V vendors and to make purchases to support library programming.

·     The Custodian is authorized to purchase cleaning supplies, supplies needed for building repairs.

C.       Authority to Spend

·       The Library Director of Seymour Public Library is authorized to spend up to $1,000.00 on any non-budgeted item without prior board approval.

·       The Library Director of Seymour Public Library is authorized to spend up to $9,999.00 on any single item only with the approval of the full board without a formal bid.

·       Seymour Public Library may spend in excess of $10,000.00 only after completing a formal bid process.

·       In case of extreme emergency, the Library Director of Seymour Public Library may spend $ 3,000.00 on a single item (in addition to the $1000.00) with the approval of the President or Treasurer of the Board.  Following verbal authorization, the President or Treasurer will email authorization to the Director and Bookkeeper.  The email will be attached to the invoice.

IV.          Cash

A.       Petty Cash:  The Seymour Public Library District Board of Trustees has established a petty cash fund of $100 for small incidental expenses requiring immediate payment. The Board of Trustees appoints the Library Director to be the custodian of the library’s petty cash fund, and the Director shall administer and be responsible for the security of the funds and the control of disbursements. The Library Director is responsible for replenishing petty cash funds, as needed, with a voucher approved by the Board of Trustees.

B.       Disbursements:

  • The primary purpose of the petty cash fund is to expedite payment of one-time or infrequent staff purchases to keep the library operating smoothly. Recurring expenses with the exception of postage should be a budgeted expense and purchased as part of the library’s operating budget.
  • Purchases must be approved by the Library Director before a purchase is made.
  • The purchase of materials, supplies, postage, or services are eligible for reimbursement from the petty cash fund.
  • Original receipts must be presented for reimbursement.
  • Sales tax will not be included in the reimbursement. Tax exempt forms will be available for staff to use.

V.             Fixed Assets

The capitalization threshold for fixed assets is $2,500.

Approved 3/25/2014

Revised 9/22/2015; 5/02/2017