May 22, 2021

Audits and reports issued during the week ending May24, 2021 by the New York State Comptroller

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the following audits and reports were issued during the week ending May 21, 2021.

Click on the text highlighted in colorto access the complete audit report.

Local Governments

Brooktondale Fire District – Purchases and Disbursements (Tompkins County) - District officials ensured the purchases and disbursements auditors examined were proper and supported.  Auditors reviewed 39 disbursements (totaling $119,590) of 304 disbursements (totaling $826,000) paid during the audit period. The auditors found the reviewed purchases followed the district’s purchasing policy, were adequately supported, and approved prior to payment. As a result of this audit, there were no recommendations

City of Cortland – Credit Accounts and Employee Reimbursements (Cortland County) - City officials did not ensure all credit account purchases and employee reimbursements were properly supported and for appropriate purposes. There were no formal city-wide policies in place to address the usage, documentation and approval of credit account purchases. As a result, 314 of the 438 (72 percent) claims auditors reviewed were either not properly supported or for questionable or inappropriate purchases.

Town of Caneadea – Fund Balance Management (Allegany County)- The board did not effectively manage fund balance and spent down fund balance by $427,000 or 71 percent. The board also appropriated fund balances the town did not have, which resulted in deficit, or negative fund balances, in the general fund. The board did not develop and adopt a comprehensive written fund balance policy, a multiyear financial plan, or capital plans. As a result, the board’s ability to know what effect financial decisions would have on future fund balance levels was diminished.

Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) – Online Banking (Fulton County, Hamilton County and Otsego County)- BOCES officials did not establish adequate controls to ensure online banking transactions were appropriate and secure. Online banking transactions are not compared to supporting documentation. Bank agreements lack important components such as identifying who is authorized to process online banking transactions or requiring the bank to provide confirmations of online transactions. A dedicated computer is not used for online banking.

In addition, auditors conducted reviews of 20 adopted budgets of various counties, cities, towns and villages across the state to assess whether local officials adequately considered the impact of the pandemic on their financial operations while developing their 2021 fiscal year budgets. Below are the findings of some of the communities reviewed:

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Genesee County - Genesee County officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Town of Herkimer (Herkimer County)- Town of Herkimer officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – City of Norwich (Chenago County) - City of Norwich officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – Village of Ossining (Westchester County)- Village of Ossining officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget.

Adequacy of 2021 Budgets – City of Saratoga Springs (Saratoga County)- City of Saratoga Springs officials adequately assessed the impact of the pandemic on financial operations while developing estimates for significant revenues and expenditures in the 2021 adopted budget. However, city officials should develop a plan and make budgetary modifications to balance the budget for the $1.15 million Federal aid revenue shortfall. They should also closely monitor revenue estimates for Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) funding and Video Lottery Terminal (VLT) aid throughout 2021 and develop a plan to balance the budget in the event these revenue projections are not fully realized. 

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