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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts


Town of Wales – Financial Management (2017M-32)


Released: May 5, 2017 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town’s financial management activities for the period January 1, 2013 through December 12, 2016.

Background

The Town of Wales is located in Erie County and has a population of approximately 3,000. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board. General and highway fund budgeted appropriations for 2017 total approximately $1.2 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board adopted budgets based on unreasonable estimates of revenues and expenditures.
  • Appropriated fund balance was not used to finance operations as planned.
  • The Town accumulated unrestricted fund balances totaling $1.2 million in the general and highway funds.
  • The Board did not adopt a reserve fund policy or document plans for expected future use for two of its five reserve funds.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets that reflect the Town’s operating needs based on historical trends or other known factors.
  • Discontinue the practice of appropriating fund balance that is not needed and not used to fund operations.
  • Reduce the amount of unrestricted general and highway fund balances and use the excess funds in a manner that benefits Town residents.
  • Adopt a reserve fund policy, which includes documenting the purpose for each reserve, the rationale used to determine the appropriate funding level, how each reserve will be funded and when the balances retained will be used to finance related costs.

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