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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 Spencer – Financial Condition (2013M-119)


Released: August 30, 2013 -- [read complete report - pdf]

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to review the Village’s financial condition for the period June 1, 2011, to February 4, 2013.

Background

The Village of Spencer is located in Tioga County and has approximately 800 residents. The Village is governed by an elected five-member Board of Trustees. The Village’s 2012-13 budgeted appropriations were $320,376.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not ensure that the Clerk-Treasurer properly reported the Village’s financial condition. We found errors in almost every aspect of the accounting function from the accounting records to the financial reports and in the reports to the IRS. The Clerk-Treasurer submitted an annual financial report with less cash reported than the actual balance available. Available fund balance was also significantly underreported and several expenditure lines were reported inaccurately.
  • The interim reports that the Clerk-Treasurer provided to the Board were incomplete and did not include sufficient information to enable the Board to monitor the Village’s financial activities against the adopted budgets.

Key Recommendations

  • Prepare complete and accurate financial records and reports, including monthly reconciliations of the book balance to the adjusted bank balance, and reporting monthly budget-to actual comparisons and cash balances.
  • Develop a plan to reduce the unexpended surplus fund balance. If the Board believes it is necessary to accumulate money for a future planned purpose, it should consider formally establishing authorized reserves as provided for in statute. The Board may also choose to use the excess fund balance to pay one-time expenses, such as capital projects, or to reduce future tax levies.
  • Attend local government training on fiscal oversight and accounting.

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