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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Village of Smyrna – Clerk-Treasurer’s Duties (2013M-114)


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

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Mayor and Board properly monitored the Village’s fiscal operations for the period June 1, 2011, to February 6, 2013.

Background

The Village of Smyrna is located in the Town of Smyrna in Chenango County. The Board of Trustees comprises three elected members including the Mayor and two Trustees. The Village’s annual budget for all funds in the 2012-13 fiscal year was $162,478.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not properly segregate the Clerk-Treasurer’s financial duties or provide oversight of her work; did not require the Clerk-Treasurer to provide monthly financial reports for monitoring the Village’s financial condition; and did not ensure that the Village’s annual financial reports were filed with OSC in a timely manner.
  • The Board did not conduct an annual audit of the Clerk-Treasurer’s records and reports.
  • Due to the lack of sufficient Board oversight and monitoring, the Village’s actual financial activities varied greatly from the Board’s adopted budgets. For example, found that 20 out of 43 of the 2011-12 adopted budget expenditure lines were over-expended by a total of more than $89,000 in the general fund, resulting in the general fund’s total expenditures exceeding appropriations by approximately $55,900, or 50 percent of its budget. This significant variance was partially offset by general fund revenues, which exceeded the budgeted revenues by approximately $52,700 (excluding appropriated fund balance), leading to an operating deficit of approximately $13,200.

Key Recommendations

  • Provide adequate oversight of the Village’s financial operations. If it is not practicable to segregate the Clerk-Treasurer’s duties, establish mitigating controls, such as independent reviews of the Clerk-Treasurer’s work. Require the Clerk-Treasurer to provide periodic reports summarizing the financial activity of the Village, and compare that activity to the adopted budgets. Prepare and file the delinquent annual financial reports and file future reports with OSC in a timely manner.
  • Audit, or provide for an audit, of the Clerk-Treasurer’s records and reports.
  • Amend the budget prior to approving payments that would exceed available budgetary appropriations.

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