It would be easy to balance an account's bottom line with generic bills and routine expenditures. But, not so easy, to balance figures when every single receipt is filed and logged with an explanation of each purchase.
This office can only need so many office supplies from certain stores. Each receipt is itemized and should be audited to make sure what is being purchased is allowed. We don't need purchases slipping through the cracks like were found at the water company.
Every single "gift card" or "money order" has to be logged in a file, along with to whom or where it went after it's purchase.
Each money order and gift card also have bar code/ tracking numbers for identification purposes.
Each gift card or money order used for assistance should be filed to who received the assistance, along with their application in order to keep a record on file of who has received what and when.
These steps are normal practice at most businesses. I would think when elected officials and employees are responsible for an account of this size, they would have many more rules and practices in place leaving no room for questions or doubt about the handling of the money and expenses.