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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 Spencerport – Financial Management (2013M-134)


Released: September 13, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Village’s financial management practices for the period June 1, 2011, through April 25, 2013.

Background

The Village of Spencerport is located in the Town of Ogden in Monroe County and has a population of approximately 3,600. The Village is governed by an elected Board of Trustees, which comprises a Mayor and four Trustees. The Village’s 2013-14 budgeted expenditures (appropriations) totaled approximately $6.4 million.

Key Findings

  • Village officials have not adopted policies or procedures to govern budgeting practices or the level of unexpended surplus funds to maintain.
  • Although the Board has been provided with sufficient information to develop accurate budgets, the Board has consistently adopted budgets with unrealistic estimates of revenues, expenditures and the amount of fund balance to be used to fund operations. The Board consistently overestimated expenditures and/or underestimated revenues, which caused significant positive budget variances. As a result, although the Board appropriated $3.73 million in fund balance for the general and sewer funds, over $2.9 million of this amount was not used. Consequently, the Village has accumulated excessive unexpended surplus funds amounting to $833,139 and $522,373 in the general and sewer funds, (or 43 and 52 percent of expenditures), respectively.
  • The Board has not developed a comprehensive long-term financial plan, which would be a useful tool to strategically utilize to reduce the excessive unexpended surplus funds in a manner that benefits the taxpayers.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt policies or procedures to govern budgeting practices and the level of fund balance to be maintained for each fund.
  • Adopt budgets with realistic estimates of revenues and expenditures and the amount of fund balance to be used to fund operations.
  • Develop and implement a long-term financial plan to guide its budgeting decisions, and effectively use and reduce fund balances in the general and sewer funds in a manner that benefits taxpayers.

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