Auditors

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Three auditors are elected, one a year, to overlapping three-year terms. 17 V.S.A. §§ 2646(6), 2649.

According to the Vermont Statutes, there are two primary duties of town auditors. The first is to "examine and adjust the accounts of all town and town school district officers and all other persons authorized by law to draw orders on the town treasurer." The second is to "report their findings in writing and to cause the same to be mailed or otherwise distributed to the legal voters of the town …." 24 V.S.A. §§ 1681, 1684. Details on the accounts to be audited, the auditors’ report, the timing of auditors’ meetings, and the notice required for meetings are included in the above-cited statutes.

The relationship between the town treasurer and the auditors is at times of concern to those holding either office. The treasurer is responsible for the accounting system, a part of which is the preparation of financial statements. What happens when the auditors disagree with these statements? Auditors should discuss their concerns with the treasurer and attempt to work out a presentation that is acceptable to both. If this cannot be done, the treasurer’s statements are those included in the town’s annual report. The auditors would then want to note in their own written report the areas of disagreement with the treasurer’s report.

After completing their review of the town’s books and financial statements, the auditors prepare an audit report. According to the statutes (24 V.S.A. §§ 1683–1684), the auditors’ report shall contain the following:

  • A detailed statement of the financial condition of the town and school district for their respective fiscal years;
  • A classified summary of receipts and expenditures;
  • A list of all outstanding payables more than 30 days past due;
  • A report of deficit, if any;
  • A statement on the condition of all trust funds, including a list of assets of such funds and an account of receipts and disbursements for the previous year;
  • A statement showing what bonds — including rate and amount thereof — of the town or town school district are outstanding; and
  • A statement showing what interest bearing notes or orders of the town or school district are outstanding with the serial number, date, amount, payee, rate of interest of each, and the total amount thereof.

For further details, see VLCT’s Handbook for Locally Elected Auditors.