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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 Ballston Spa – Financial Condition and Records and Reports (2012M-18)


Released: August 29, 2012 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the Village’s financial condition and review the Village’s accounting records and reports for the period June 1, 2009, to May 31, 2011.

Background

The Village of Ballston Spa is located in Saratoga County and had a population of 5,800. The Mayor and Board of Trustees are responsible for the overall management of the Village. The adopted budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year is approximately $3.77 million.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not adopt realistic budgets, have adequate records to monitor financial operations or take appropriate action to maintain financial stability. As a result, deficits in the sewer fund increased 287 percent from $67,336 in 2005-06 to $260,720 in 2009-10. Therefore, Village officials had to increase interfund loans to the sewer fund to over $270,000 to meet its cash flow needs.
  • The Treasurer did not properly account for and report cash by fund, or provide complete monthly financial reports to each Board member. As a result, the general fund balance was overstated by $135,000 in 2010 and $133,000 in 2011.
  • The Board was not aware it had to prevent the over expenditure of 50 individual account appropriations totaling $492,119 during 2010 and another 55 accounts totaling $393,739 during 2011.

Key Recommendations

  • Adopt budgets with reasonable estimates for revenues based on historical information. Develop a plan to address the deficit and poor financial condition of the sewer fund. Ensure that future interfund borrowings are paid back by the end of the fiscal year in which the borrowings occur, with appropriate interest if the funds have different tax bases.
  • Discontinue the practice of recording cash transactions for the special grant, water, sewer, library, capital projects and trust and agency funds in the general fund with offsetting entries in the due from and due to accounts for those funds. Establish fiscal policies to ensure the Treasurer provides each Board member with monthly reports for each department/fund.
  • Ensure expenditures are within the framework of the budget.

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