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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Amherst – Recording Financial Activity and Fleet Management (2013M-199)

Released: October 4, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the recording of certain financial activities and the Town’s fleet management program for the period January 1, 2011, to May 8, 2013.


The Town of Amherst is located in Erie County with a population of 122,366 residents. An elected six-member Town Board is the legislative body responsible for overseeing the Town’s operations and finances. The Town’s 2013 operating fund budgets total $116.7 million.

Key Findings

  • The Town Comptroller has not properly accounted for and reported reserve funds and other restricted moneys. The Town Comptroller does not record reserve activity in the financial system, instead she accounts for certain reserves separately and in some cases does not maintain any record of the reserves. This resulted in more than $2 million, which should have been used for debt service, remaining idle since 2004.
  • The Town Comptroller has not properly recorded and reported interfund activity.
  • The Town has not established an effective fleet management program. The Town does not have any written policies or procedures to determine if the acquisition of new or replacement vehicles is cost effective. The Town does not maintain - in any consistent manner - repair, maintenance, usage, or fuel records for its fleet.

Key Recommendations

  • Properly report and use statutorily restricted moneys to pay related debt service, and ensure that other moneys improperly accounted for in a debt reserve are transferred to the appropriate funds.
  • Ensure that interfund loans are used in accordance with statute and the funds should be repaid as soon as possible and by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Develop a comprehensive fleet management program that includes: guidelines for analyzing and documenting the cost/benefit of vehicle and equipment acquisition and replacement, formal establishment of preventative maintenance schedules, and documentation of all costs associated with each vehicle including maintenance, repairs and fuel usage.

Local Government and School Accountability Contact Information:

Phone: (518) 474-4037; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller, Division of Local Government and School Accountability
110 State Street, 12th Floor; Albany, NY 12236