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Office of the State Comptroller - Local Government & School Accountability
Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

Audits of Local Governments and School Districts

Town of East Greenbush – Financial Management and Online Banking (2012M-116)


Released: November 16, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Town's financial operations for the period January 1, 2010, to October 31, 2011.

Background

The Town of East Greenbush is located in Rensselaer County and has a population of approximately 16,500. The Town Board is the legislative body responsible for managing Town operations. The Town's budgeted appropriations for 2012 were about $20.4 million.

Key Findings

Over the last several years, the Town has experienced significant signs of fiscal stress and deteriorating financial condition.

  • The Town's accounting records were not accurate and therefore, did not provide Town officials with the information necessary to evaluate the financial position of the Town's general and highway funds. Due to the poor condition of the Town's accounting records, Town officials could not determine with any degree of certainty what the Town's fund balances actually were at the end of the 2010 fiscal year or for most of 2011.
  • As of December 31, 2011, the Town's general and highway funds have shown signs of improvement with each fund reporting operating surpluses. However, the general and highway funds had fund deficits of $1,307,056 and $783,913 respectively.
  • Town officials did not adopt written policies and procedures for online banking and, consequently, the Town has inadequate controls over its online banking activity.

Key Recommendations

  • Implement fiscal policies to ensure that the Town's accounting records maintained by the Comptroller are complete, accurate and up-to-date.
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to eliminate deficit fund balances that exist in the general and highway funds.
  • Establish a comprehensive online banking policy that adequately addresses all online banking activities and functions including who has the ability to perform transfers and what accounts can be accessed through online banking.

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