CANISTEO — After a summer of getting to know auditors from the New York State Comptroller's Office well, Village of Canisteo officials will soon part ways with them as an extensive audit wraps up.

The audit was triggered when the village was notified in late 2017 that four years worth of annual update reports (AUDs) were never submitted to the Comptroller's Office.

The first round of the audit was triggered when the mayor requested that the New York State Comptroller’s Office perform an audit of oversight regarding the practices of a former clerk after it was discovered that four years of financial reports had not been submitted to the Comptroller’s Office, and unpaid water and sewer bills totaled more than $180,000.

The revelation led the board to approve $200,000 in borrowing to cover related budget shortfalls back in February.

During the May meeting of the Canisteo Village Board, Mayor Monica Recktenwald revealed that an audit ordered by the New York State Comptroller’s Office would be moving into a "second phase" which entailed auditors examining fiscal oversight practices and documentation for irregularities, including a risk assessment and interviews with each department head.

The audit covered fiscal years 2016, 2017 and 2018.

For several months, Clerk Katrina Oliverio worked hand-in-hand with auditors to prepare the AUDs, a process presented with several challenges.

"There was some improper coding addressed, so the board can have an actual picture of what our revenues and expenditures are for budgeting going forward," she explained.

Oliverio noted that auditors reached back to 2016, and found that tax re-levies for water bills were not addressed in that year, which was noted in the completed AUD.

"It did affect our fund balance that we didn't budget for," she cautioned. "Other than that, everything was pretty set in stone."

Going forward, the Village will be required to track retiree benefits in accordance with the Comptroller's wishes. The new requirement was addressed at a previous meeting.

"I am very happy that it is done," Mayor Monica Recktenwald said. "Good job. It's been a long time coming." 

The board unanimously consented to Oliverio submitting the completed AUD documents to be included in the final audit report.

Auditors also noted that several outstanding checks had been written during the audit period (2014, 2015 and 2017), and needed to be voided. The issue was said to have been caused by printing mistakes, and payments that were made in a different form.

Trustees unanimously consented to the checks being voided.