Primary functions of the office include, Accounts Payable, Budget Preparation, Cash Management, Debt Management, Financial Reporting, Data Processing.
The Town utilizes fund accounting to record and report its various activities. A fund represents both a legal and an accounting entity which segregates the transaction of specific programs in accordance with special regulations, restrictions or limitations.
There are three basic fund types:
governmental funds that are used to account for basic services and capital projects;
proprietary funds that account for operations of a commercial nature; and
- fiduciary funds that account for assets held in a trustee capacity.
Account groups, which do not represent funds, are used to record fixed assets and long-term obligations that are not accounted for in a specific fund.
The Town presently maintains the following governmental funds: General Fund, Special Grant Funds, Highway Fund, Debt Service Funds, Special Revenue Funds and the Capital Project Funds. Proprietary funds consist of Internal Service Funds and the Self Insurance Funds. Fiduciary funds consist of the Trust & Agency Fund & Expendable Trust Funds. Account groups are maintained for fixed assets and long term debt.
The Town’s governmental funds are currently accounted for on a modified accrual basis. A modified accrual basis of accounting recognizes increases and decreases in financial resources only to the extent that they reflect new-term inflows or outflows of cash. Amounts are recognized as revenues when earned, only as long as they are collectible within the period or soon enough afterwards to be used to pay liabilities of the current period. Similarly, debt payments and a number of specific accrued liabilities (judgments and claims, compensated absences, landfill closure and post closure costs, operating, leases etc.) are only recognized as expenditures when payment is due.
The Town’s proprietary funds are accounted for on a full accrual basis. A full accrual basis of accounting recognizes increases and decreases in economic resources as soon as the underlying event or transaction occurs. Thus, revenues are recognized as soon as they are earned and expenses are recognized as soon as a liability is incurred, regardless of the timing of related cash inflows or outflows.
The Town’s fiduciary funds are accounted for on a cash basis. A cash basis of accounting recognizes expenses only when paid and revenues only when received.
The head of each administrative unit of the Town is required to file detailed estimates of revenues and expenditures for the next fiscal year with the budget officer (Town Supervisor) in August. After reviewing these estimates, the budget officer prepares a tentative budget which includes his recommendation.
The tentative budget is filed with the Town Clerk no later than the 30th of September. Subsequently, the Town Clerk presents the tentative budget to the Town Board at the regular or special meeting which must be held on or before October 5th. The Town Board reviews the tentative budget and makes such changes as it deems necessary and that are consistent with the provisions of the law.
Following the review process, the tentative budget and such modifications, if any, as approved by the Board becomes the preliminary budget. A public hearing, notice of which must be duly published in the Town’s official newspaper, on the preliminary budget is required to be held on or before the Thursday immediately following the general election.
The Town Board, by resolution, adopts the preliminary budget as submitted or amended no later than November 20th, at which time, the preliminary budget as amended becomes the annual budget of the Town. Any changes or modifications to the annual budget during the new fiscal year (calendar year) must be approved by resolution of the Town Board.