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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 Bridgewater – Financial Operations (2013M-309)


Released: December 20, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s financial operations for the period January 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.

Background

The Town of Bridgewater is located in Oneida County and has a population of approximately 1,500 residents. The Town Board is the legislative body responsible for managing Town operations. The Town’s budgeted appropriations for the 2013 fiscal year total approximately $345,000 for the general fund and $540,000 for the highway fund.

Key Findings

  • The Supervisor has assigned accounting duties to the bookkeeper, but has not provided sufficient oversight. As a result, the manual and computerized accounting records maintained by the bookkeeper included inaccuracies such as the improper allocation of real property and sales taxes among tax bases. In addition, separate general ledger cash accounts were not maintained for funds in which cash was commingled and the Board was not provided with monthly budget-to-actual reports.
  • The bookkeeper has not filed annual financial reports timely since 2008, the late filings ranged from 10 days for 2008 to 59 days for 2011. Further, as of August 2013, the bookkeeper had not filed the annual financial report for 2012.
  • Although the Board has audited the Supervisor’s records annually, it has not done so effectively, and the Supervisor has allowed the bookkeeper to sign Town checks in the bookkeeper’s own name.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that a separate set of accounting records is maintained for each fund. Periodically review the work of the bookkeeper. Ensure that the bookkeeper makes adjusting entries to fix inaccuracies in the Town’s accounting records. Correct the Town’s accounting practices for town-wide and town-outside-village fund revenues to conform to statute and prevent future taxpayer inequities. Provide the Board with reconciled cash balances and monthly budget-to-actual reports for each fund.
  • File the Town’s AUD with OSC and the Clerk within 60 days after the close of the fiscal year, or 120 days after the close of the fiscal year if an extension is granted.
  • Conduct an effective audit of the records and reports of the Town Supervisor or hire an independent auditor to conduct the audit. Discontinue delegating check-signing authority to the bookkeeper.

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