Town of Berne – Board Oversight (2021M-77)

Issued Date
September 17, 2021

[read complete report - pdf]

Audit Objective

Determine whether the Town of Berne (Town) Board provided adequate oversight of financial operations.

Key Findings

The Board did not provide adequate oversight of financial operations and exceeded its authority under New York State Town Law (Town Law) by authorizing the Supervisor to pay all expenditures without prior audit. The Board did not:

  • Request or receive adequate monthly reports from the Supervisor. For example, the Board did not request or receive monthly cash reports detailing money received and disbursed, monthly bank reconciliations or cash balances for each fund.
  • Ensure bank reconciliations were accurate, timely, and properly reviewed. As a result, we found three significant unreconciled variances between the accounting records and the bank records ranging from about ($135,800) to $31,600.
  • Audit the 170 claims totaling $166,792 reviewed or audit any credit card charges totaling $8,308 before payment was made, or annually audit the records of all officials who received and disbursed funds, as required.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure the Supervisor provides adequate monthly financial reports to the Board, that all bank reconciliations are prepared timely, accurately, and are properly reviewed.
  • Perform a deliberate and thorough audit of claims, and annually audit the records of all officials who receive and disburse funds, as required.

Town officials generally agreed with our recommendations and have initiated or indicated they planned to initiate corrective action. Appendix B includes our comment on an issue that was raised in the Town’s response letter.