Carroll Corrects Accounting Errors

CARROLL – The town of Carroll has taken corrective action after an audit revealed several bookkeeping areas in need of improvement.

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released several municipal audits recently which outlined issues with accounting records for towns in various counties in the state, including the town of Carroll.

The objectives of Carroll’s audit were to review the town’s accounting records, as well as report and assess the internal controls over justice court operations for the period of Jan. 1, 2012, through May 22, 2013. The comptroller’s office expanded the scope of this audit to Jan. 1, 2010, for its review of financial reports and justice court records.

Specifically, the audit was looking into whether the town supervisor maintained adequate records and prepared and distributed appropriate reports to allow the town board to provide sufficient oversight over the town’s financial operations. The audit also looked at whether internal controls over the justice court operations were operating effectively for proper accounting and reporting of financial activity.

The audit summarized that the town supervisor did not ensure the bookkeeper accurately maintained the town’s accounting records, leaving the records incomplete and inaccurate. It also stated that the town justices did not adequately oversee court operations or the work performed by court clerks.

“There was absolutely no money missing – balances just weren’t in the right columns,” said Jack Jones, town supervisor. “As the town’s CEO, I take full responsibility. I should have been watching it closer.”

Once the town realized its bookkeeping issues, it hired Honey & Associates CPA firm to take corrective action and keep the books in order in the future.

“(Honey & Associates) have brought us back on track and gotten our books in line. Everything is 100 percent,” Jones said. “We’re exactly where we should be now.”

Jones said that the town justice’s issues that the audit brought to light were also caused by inaccurate bookkeeping. Along with correcting mistakes in their bookkeeping, the town justice books will also be checked by the CPA.

According to Jones, the town plans to look at its books more often, in order to catch issues as they arise, as Carroll’s last audit was 10 years ago.

“In today’s fiscal climate, budget transparency and accountability for our local communities is a top priority,” DiNapoli said. “By auditing municipal finances and operations, my office continues to provide taxpayers the assurance that their money is being spent appropriately and effectively.”

The town of Carroll represents roughly 3,500 residents.

For access to state and local government spending and nearly 50,000 state contracts, visit: www.openbooknewyork.com.

For the full audit report, visit: www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/towns/2014/carroll.pdf.