Jul. 14—JAY — An audit by the State Comptroller’s Office says the Town of Jay Supervisor’s Office did not maintain accurate and complete financial accounts, with the outcome being more than $1 million in errors.
Auditors said the purpose of the audit was to determine whether the town “supervisor maintained complete, accurate and timely accounting records and reports to allow the town board to effectively manage the town’s financial operations.”
‘LACKED RELIABLE RECORDS’
The findings were that the records were not kept up and the Jay Town Council as a result “lacked reliable records and reports to manage the town’s financial operations.”
Jay Town Supervisor Matt Stanley said Friday the town is making the suggested corrections and has submitted a plan to the state to do so.
The audit period covered Jan. 1, 2021 to Oct. 31, 2022. Three individuals served as supervisor during that time period, with current Stanley appointed by the Town Council on Nov. 26, 2021 after winning election, then starting a full four year term Jan. 1, 2022.
The audit says 15 asset and liability accounts were reviewed as of Dec. 31, 2021 and Oct. 31, 2022, and five were overstated by a total of $19,037 and 13 accounts were understated by a total of $269,353.
Of the 10 revenue accounts reviewed, two were overstated by a total of $927,546 and two were understated by a total of $18,317.
And of 10 expenditure accounts reviewed, two were overstated by a combined total of $182,370 and two were understated by a total of $6,091.
Bank reconciliations were also not prepared monthly or properly prepared for all bank accounts.
Finally, seven capital projects, including a walking trail, town park improvements and riverbank stabilization, were completed by the town but not closed in accounting records.
The audit did not find that any funds were missing, just that there were deficiencies in record keeping and reporting.
Stanley told the Press-Republican Friday that the town is making the necessary changes.
“I agree with the audit and as I began my term, we already took steps to address some of the issues,” he said. “Published as part of the audit report is our Corrective Action Plan, most of which had been started and some which has been finished.”
In a six-page response to auditors, Stanley listed corrective actions being taken to address the recommendations in the audit and said they had been approved by the Jay Town Council.
“We have been taking and will continue to make the corrective actions recommended by the Office of the New York State Comptroller,” Stanley wrote. “The following Corrective Action Plan was approved by the Town of Jay Town Board during its regular monthly meeting on June 8.”
The plan outlines in detail the steps the town is taking to comply with the audit.
The state criticized the town for having financial duties intermingled between the town clerk and Clerk to the Supervisor, but Stanley told the state that was being corrected.
“In May 2022, (I) hired a new Clerk to the Supervisor to assume the accounting duties,” he wrote. “The former Clerk to the Supervisor, who was elected town clerk, has been slowly teaching the new clerk. The duties will be fully separated within the next year.”
The town had an independent contractor handle some bookkeeping duties, but no contract outlining those duties had been executed, the audit said, something the town promised to correct.
He also promised complete monthly financial reports for the town board, including reconciled cash balances, which the audit said wasn’t being done.
The Jay Town Council will now conduct annual audits of the supervisor’s financial records and reports, the letter said.