Gray & Gray will continue as Town of Canton's bookkeeping firm
Monday, January 8, 2018 - 12:08 pm

By ADAM ATKINSON

CANTON -- Gray & Gray and Associates Certified Public Accountants, P.C. will be retained by the town by contract for the next six months to handle the town’s bookkeeping.

Newly elected supervisor Mary Ann Ashley made the announcement at the town’s reorganizational meeting Jan. 3.

“Since July 8th I’ve been thinking about this. And then since November 8th I’ve been really thinking about this. The only option I felt was viable for the best interests of the employees and makes the most sense is to continue with Gray & Gray,” Ashley said.

The firm’s services will be retained at $4,150 a month. The 2018 budget accounts for $60,000 for book keeping services.

Gray & Gray was engaged as the town’s bookkeeping firm last fall following controversy surrounding former Town Supervisor David Button’s handling of his department’s bookkeeping.

The town supervisor has carte blanche to either handle the bookkeeping themselves, hire an employee to do it or contract with an outside agency.

“There are a lot of nuances with this, and people get their paychecks tomorrow,” said Ashley. “I’m asking each board member to sign the agreement with me, not that you have to. . . We need to do this together as a team, and what is in the best interest of our employees and what is in the best interests of the taxpayers.”

The board members each signed the contract with the firm.

Ashley said she wanted it in the record of minutes for the meeting that contracting with the firm was not a one-person decision.

“Bob (Washo) and I have spoken with Gray & Gray. I’m very pleased with their services,” said town Counilman Phil LaMarche. LaMarche commented that the firm offers a very secure accounting process and that they are allowing board members to review monthly statements digitally in a “read-only” format. “Which is pretty revolutionary.”

Board members have said they previously did not have as much access to financial reports under the previous system when the book keeping was done in-house.

Ashley said she did not contract with the firm for the whole year to allow her time to review the financial status of the town and whether the budget overall would support the expense.