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Saturday, October 25, 2014
Amsterdam, NY ,
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Controller: AUD to be filed today

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 - Updated: 10:36 AM

By CASEY CROUCHER

casey.croucher@recordernews.com

Due to errors, Amsterdam's Annual Update Document for 2011-12 was not filed with the state by Aug. 1, but the documents will be filed by the end of today, city Controller Matthew Agresta said.

"We're at the point where if we have to make one more change, we're going to, but basically all of the information that we have at this point is in the report," Agresta said.

The city's 2011-12 Annual Update Document mandated by the state Governmental Accounting Standards Board is a complete list of financial records for that year. Every municipality in the state is required to file this report annually.

Amsterdam's 2011-12 AUD was due October 2012, but because of setbacks and errors, it hasn't been completed until now.

Agresta said there's one error on the revenue side of the report that his office is currently reviewing, but once the error is fixed he plans on submitting the AUD by the end of today.

He said the revenue piece of information his office is waiting on "is a rather big deal" regarding how the report moves forward.

"It's a large sum of money, so it's the last thing we're waiting on," he said.

The controller said he's disappointed the 2011-12 AUD wasn't submitted by Aug. 1, but it was out of his control.

"It didn't work out the way I wanted," he said. "Regrettably, we weren't able to get [the AUD] in any sooner, but in the interest of trying to get as much corrected in there, it's a balance between trying to get everything absolutely right and trying to stay under the time constraints we have, because we still have two more years-worth of information to go through to get current."

Reports filed last November showed eight of the city's 17 bank accounts were not reconciled. Also, according to the report's bank reconciliation summary, which includes all checking, savings and special grant accounts, the total cash amount and the total cash balance of all funds are denoted by an asterisk that reads "must be equal."

However, these numbers differed by $1.2 million. The total cash was $7,992,935 and the total cash balance of all funds was $9,211,219.

City officials claimed the error-filled report was due to lack of accounting and organization.

Agresta said he believes one of the major AUD setbacks for the city was the change of accounting software in 2011.

However, when the controller's office files the 2011-12 AUD with corrections regarding the software change, Agresta said filing the 2012-13 AUD should be slightly easier because the 2011-12 report will carry over to the 2012-13 report.

Agresta said his office checked the report and noticed discrepancies that needed to be fixed, and that's why the filing the report has taken as long as it has.

"We wanted to make sure we double- and triple-checked everything, and how we booked it," he said, "and if we need to change anything we want to be able to do it before we submit the AUD."

When information is entered into an AUD, and it doesn't seem accurate to the system, the system will kick back errors, Agresta said.

"There's a multitude of reasons the system will give you errors," he said.

When an error is detected, Agresta said he has to go through the AUD and figure out what the error was caused by, whether it was from a transposition of numbers, a wrong number was entered or a number was entered in an incorrect spot.

"When you have error you want to look through and see what they are so that you can try to correct all of them," he said.

When Agresta started putting information into the report he said he had roughly 20 errors, and the length of time it took to correct each error depended on what the error was.

"Whether the error is in the general fund, water fund, sewer fund or it has to do with a receivable or any other revenue line or expense line, there's no exact time frame for correcting an error," he said. "You have to see what the issue is and find out how to fix it before you can actually go in and start making the changes."

The controller said the AUD should definitely be filed by tonight and there shouldn't be any circumstances stopping it from happening this time.

     

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