What are the main functions of the Town Accountant’s office?

(below is a summary of the duties of the accountant/auditor)

  • Verify that every expense payment is lawful and justified and that funding exists under the appropriate budget line item (MGL c. 41, §52).
  • Maintain municipal books, including a general journal, general ledger, and subsidiary ledgers (MGL c. 41 §57).
  • Maintain detailed records of all debt (MGL c. 41 §57).
  • Retain all contracts and surety bonds (MGL c. 41 §57).
  • At the close of the fiscal year, receive from each department, board, or committee a list of bills remaining unpaid (MGL c. 41 §58).
  • Certify in advance the availability of an appropriation for any construction contract in excess of $2,000 (MGL c. 44 §31C).
  • Certify to the assessor’s expenditures, approved in advance, expenses in excess of available appropriations for snow and ice removal (MGL c. 44 §31D).
  • At least on a monthly basis, prepare reports for officers and department heads that show total appropriations, expenditures, and balances in each appropriation (MGL c. 41 §58).
  • Provide notification to officers and department heads when an appropriation has been expended or appears likely to become overdrawn (MGL c. 41 §58).
  • Provide the assessors with a written report detailing money received for the preceding fiscal year from sources other than taxes, loans, and trust funds (MGL c. 41 §54A).
  • By May 1 of each year, notify the assessor in writing of the amount of debt falling due in the next fiscal year and the provisions made to meet debt requirements (MGL c. 44 §16).
  • Immediately upon the close of the calendar year, prepare statements detailing the preceding year’s appropriations and expenditures; appropriations for the current fiscal year; expenditures incurred during the first six months; estimated expenditures for the second six months; and estimates for the following fiscal year (MGL c. 41 §60).
  • Prepare an annual report that provides the receipts and expenditures for the past fiscal year from all funds; shows the specific appropriation amounts, expenditures and purposes; states any change in municipal debt; and lists indebtedness incurred and unpaid at the end of the fiscal year (MGL c. 41 §61).
  • Annually prepare and provide to the DLS Director of Accounts a 1) Schedule A, 2) statement of public debt, and 3) Balance Sheet (MGL c. 44, §43).