Medina Journal-Register — Recently released audits into a pair of Orleans County municipalities have led the state comptroller’s office to call for more internal oversight into financial operations.
The Division of Local Government and School Accountability found discrepancies in the records kept by the Town of Shelby and the Town of Carlton and offered recommendations on how local governments can ensure the accuracy of financial records.
In Shelby, the comptroller’s office reviewed the accounting records and internal controls over the town court’s financial operations from Jan. 1, 2010 to Sept. 7, 2012.
They found that the town’s bank balances were approximately $997,800 less than the cash balances recorded in the town’s computerized accounting records in June of 2012. Similar issues were found in the town’s water district accounts and capital reserves.
“Although our testing did not disclose any inappropriate activities, there is a risk that errors and irregularities, including fraud, could occur if the Supervisor does not ensure that complete and accurate accounting records are maintained,” the audit report said.
According to the comptroller’s report, the discrepancies were due to not all transactions being entered into the town’s accounting system. It recommends that the town supervisor review the work of the town bookkeeper, who should regularly reconcile bank balances to cash balances in the town’s computerized accounting system.
Shelby Supervisor Skip Draper said in a letter to the comptroller’s office that the town will adjust its accounting procedures, which have been migrated from manual record keeping in recent years.
The audit also noted that the town court’s liabilities exceeded assets by $1,442 in June due to deposits not always being made in a timely manner, with late deposits occurring 66 percent of the time.
In Carlton, the comptroller’s office reviewed the processes and procedures of the town clerk’s and justice court’s financail operations from Jan. 1, 2011 to May 11, 2012.
They found that the town clerk typically deposited receipts of $250 once per month and remitted the town’s entire portion of the tax levy to the town supervisor only twice instead of once each week until the town’s portion of the tax levy was satisfied.
The audit also noted that the town justices and town board did not provide adequate oversight over court’s finances.