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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts


Town of Barrington – Financial Management (2017M-103)


Released: September 1, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the oversight and management of the Town’s financial operations for the period January 1, 2015 through April 10, 2017.

Background

The Town of Barrington is located in Yates County and has a population of approximately 1,700. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board. Budgeted appropriations for 2017 total approximately $1.6 million.

Key Findings

  • As of December 31, 2016, the unrestricted fund balance in the general town-wide fund was about $1.2 million, or 273 percent of the ensuing year’s budget.
  • The Board did not adopt multiyear financial or capital plans to address long-term priorities.
  • The Board hired an accounting firm to perform bookkeeping and payroll duties without a written contract or proper oversight from the Supervisor and the Board did not perform annual audits of the books and records of officers or employees who received or disbursed money.
  • Because the accounting firm kept the records off site, the Town’s financial records were not available for public inspection during reasonable times as required by law.

Key Recommendations

  • Use excess fund balance as a financing source for funding one-time expenditures, funding needed reserves and reducing real property taxes.
  • Adopt comprehensive multiyear financial and capital plans that project operating and capital needs and financing sources for three to five years.
  • Enter into a written contract with the Firm outlining the services to be performed including detailed language of each party’s responsibilities. Annually audit, or cause an audit of, the books and records of all officers and employees who received or disbursed money during the preceding year. Audit results should be documented in the Board minutes and include a description of the records reviewed and the procedures performed.
  • Ensure that financial records are available at the Town office.

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