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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Warsaw – Financial Management (2012M-06)


Released: April 27, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Board's system of internal controls over financial management for the period January 1, 2010, to November 21, 2011.

Background

The Town of Warsaw is located in Wyoming County and has a population of approximately 5,000 residents. The elected five-member Town Board (Board) is responsible for managing Town operations, including establishing internal controls over financial operations and maintaining sound financial condition. The Town's 2011 budget totaled approximately $1.5 million for all operating funds.

Key Findings

  • Town taxpayers have been paying more than needed to fund operations on an annual basis. On an annual basis, the Board appropriated fund balance as a financing source to balance the budget. However, the Town's operations resulted in surpluses, where revenue exceeded expenditures, so fund balance ultimately was not needed to finance operations. On average for all three funds, the Board appropriated $123,084 of fund balance annually for the 2006 through 2010 fiscal years, but used an average of $26,557, which was only 22 percent of the appropriated total.
  • We compared budget estimates to actual results in each fund for these fiscal years and found that appropriations were consistently overestimated, and revenues were consistently underestimated.

Key Recommendations

  • Develop a plan to reduce fund balance to a reasonable level. Use excess fund balance to establish needed reserves, to make capital acquisitions, to pay off debt, or to reduce property taxes.
  • Develop and adopt budgets that include more realistic estimates for revenue and expenditures.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email: localgov@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236