Poor records hinder officials: audit

AMSTERDAM-An audit by the state Comptroller’s Office said city officials are unable to properly assess the city’s financial condition due to inaccurate accounting records.

According to a news release, auditors found city officials lacked basic accounting records for the city’s cash, assets, outstanding debt and available fund balance.

The audit – which mainly covered a period from June 1, 2011 to March 31, 2013 – showed the city’s unreserved fund balance fell from $3.4 million in 2007 to $620,000 in 2011, a decrease of 81 percent. The city’s short-term borrowing to cover expenses also increased by more than 250 percent in the last three years, the release said.

The audit recommended city officials be certain they have complete and accurate records, as well as for the city controller to provide adequate monthly financial reports to the council. Also, the controller and staff should attend proper training.

The Common Council, in a letter to the comptroller’s office, said the city has addressed these concerns.