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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of Clifton – Financial Management (2014M-217)

Released: October 17, 2014 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to examine the Town’s oversight of financial activities for the period January 1, 2013 through April 30, 2014.


The Town of Clifton is located in St. Lawrence County and has approximately 750 residents. The Town is governed by an elected five-member Town Board comprising the Town Supervisor and four council members. Budgeted appropriations for 2014 total approximately $1.4 million.

Key Findings

  • The Town had a cash deficiency of approximately $325,000 at the end of fiscal year 2013.
  • The Supervisor did not provide sufficient oversight of the bookkeeper to ensure that the Town’s financial records were reliable and maintained in a timely manner.
  • The Board did not complete a sufficient audit of the Supervisor’s books and records.
  • The Board has not adopted comprehensive multiyear financial and capital plans.

Key Recommendations

  • Take immediate action to address the Town’s weak financial condition.
  • Ensure that the bookkeeper has the necessary training to maintain the Town’s records and reports and oversee the bookkeeper’s work.
  • Conduct an annual audit of the Supervisor’s records or engage an independent auditor to do so.
  • Develop, monitor and periodically update long-term financial and capital plans.

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