Newfield: State Audit Finds Town Accounting Records ‘In Disarray
Albany — An audit by the New York State Comptroller of the Town of Newfield found the Town Board “did not require the Supervisor to meet the fundamental financial responsibilities of his office.”
The audit covering the period of Jan. 1, 2011 to June 11, 2012 also revealed the 2012 financial records “in disarray” and 2011 accounting records unable to be produced for the state review.
The state review also found the following problems with the Town books:
- Unsure whether money received was actually recorded, deposited and disbursed for town purposes.
Cash was not reconciled, prompting “large unsupported adjustments” made to force accounting records to agree with bank balances.
The Town Supervisor did not consistently provide the Board with monthly and the latest two annual reports. The annual reports were filed with the state more than one year late.
The Town could not account for 39 percent of the water drawn from Town wells with the amount of water treated and distributed. The amount of unaccounted for water was “substantially higher” than the EPA standard, costing the Town around $19,000 each year.
Water bills were calculated inaccurately.
As a result, the state recommends the Town Board make the following changes:
- Ensure money distributed is based only on Board-approved claims.
Require accurate and complete accounting records.
Require cash recorded in accounting be reconciled with cash recorded in bank statement.
Require timely monthly and annual financial reports.
Act on deficiencies reported by expernal auditors.
Ensure the duties of the Town Clerk and bookkeeper are segregated or controls put in place.
Ensure that all payments are sequentially numbered, supported by an audited claim form, and listed on an abstract of audited claims.
Earlier in 2013, Newfield Supervisor Richard Driscoll told the Town Board he mistakenly used the town credit card to twice pay for doctor visits. In January, he used the official credit card to pay a $170 medical charge, in which he later reimbursed the town. Two years ago, Driscoll used the town credit to pay for a doctor’s visit instead of his Health Savings Account card.
The two incidents prompted the Newfield Town Board to a credit card use policy.
The Newfield Town Supervisor, two Town Board seats and the Town Clerk spot are among those positions in Tompkins County on the November ballot.