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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Benson – Financial Condition (2013M-77)


Released: July 19, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to evaluate the Town’s financial condition for the period January 1, 2010, through December 31, 2012.

Background

The Town of Benson is located in Hamilton County and has a population of approximately 190 people. The Town is governed by a Town Board which consists of four elected Board members and an elected Town Supervisor. The Town’s 2012 budgeted expenditures totaled $226,742 for the general fund and $222,402 for the highway fund.

Key Finding

  • The Board is not able to routinely monitor actual revenues and expenditures against budgeted estimates throughout the year because the Supervisor does not maintain accounting records in a timely manner. As of December 2012, the Supervisor had not made postings to the accounting records since March 2012. Because the Supervisor did not maintain the accounting records in a timely manner, she could not prepare periodic financial reports necessary for the Board to compare actual revenues and expenditures to the budgeted amounts on a regular basis and make applicable budgetary amendments. As a result, the Town has realized negative fiscal trends in its general and highway funds over the past several years.

Key Recommendations

  • Maintain current accounting records.
  • Provide the Board with up-to-date periodic financial reports detailing revenues and expenditures and the Board should use these reports to compare actual operating results to budgeted amounts.
  • Ensure necessary budget modifications are made throughout the year to stabilize the Town’s financial status and reverse the trend of financial decline.

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