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Auditor of State Releases Performance Audit
Commends Overall Operations; Offers Recommendations for Improvement
Columbus- Auditor of State Dave Yost made good on his promise today with the release of his office’s first ever performance audit conducted by Plante Moran.
“We commend Auditor Yost on his commitment to the performance audit process,” Adam Rujan, partner at Plante Moran said. “There was excellent collaboration between the Plante Moran and AOS staff. As a result, we believe the performance audit’s recommendations can improve AOS operations, efficiency and effectiveness.”
Overall, Plante Moran “found that Auditor Yost and the AOS (Auditor of State) staff, professionally and competently, fulfill the mission and obligations of the office. The staff appear focused on the financial integrity of services to their clients.” Some key recommendations from the performance audit include:
• Evaluate GAAP reporting requirements. For certain public offices, the audit found cash basis financial statements could be sufficient. • Make arrangements for better processes for the collection of delinquent audit fees. Consider requesting advance payments from fiscally-challenged entities.
• Increase efficiency of audit procedures by enhancing performance measurements for audit staff, making changes to the types of services performed, and streamlining certain audit standards and practices.
• Evaluate the need to enhance staff retention-related policies which could include flex-time, work from home and reduced work schedules. Look for opportunities to provide incentives for staff that show the capability and desire for advancement.
The audit also confirms that the AOS hourly audit rate of $41 is fair in comparison to its peers. Peers charge on average between $31.25 and $105.00. A comprehensive rate study identified a rate of $58.67 to cover the total costs of an AOS audit.
Auditor Yost is forming an ad hoc committee of local government stakeholders and private sector peers to help the Auditor of State’s office review audit processes to find efficiencies.
“It is always a little scary to be the first to go under the microscope, but this experience has been a positive, beneficial one,” Auditor Yost said. “I thank Plante Moran for their important work. We will now bring together working groups, both internal and external, to review the recommendations and implement efficiencies where possible.”
Performance audits provide an objective analysis to improve operations, reduce costs and facilitate communication, decision-making, corrective actions and public accountability. Through a series of data requests, surveys, interviews and site visits, the performance audit analyzed operations of the Auditor of State’s office, including: nature and scope of work performed, organization and structure, finance, audit costs, and audit processes and procedures.
A full copy of this performance audit may be found online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.