UAN Fee Holiday to Save Users $1.2 Million Over Next Year

By Dave Yost, Ohio Auditor of State

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

As I travel our great state and get to know leaders at all levels of government, I continue to be impressed by the ability of township trustees, fiscal officers and other local leaders to leverage the precious tax dollars they are given to protect and nurture their beautiful communities.

Our local officials really know how to stretch a buck. 

Like you, we in my office are always looking for ways to control and reduce costs. Every dollar we save ensures taxpayers get more for their money. You may have heard the recent announcement that nearly 2,000 local governments across Ohio will save $1.2 million in computer fees during the next year as part of our Uniform Accounting Network hardware fee holiday.

Because our office was able to obtain prices below what was anticipated (through competitive bidding and buying in volume), the clients of UAN – now 1,972 strong – will not be required to pay the $50 monthly fee for hardware maintenance for the next year.

That means $600 stays in the pockets of our clients – townships, villages, libraries and other governmental entities.

When you do the math (1,972 entities x $50 x 12 months = $1,183,200), we’re talking real money.

I can only imagine what these creative leaders will do with the savings. I imagine it will be used to pay down a debt, pay off a bill, replace an old printer or buy office supplies. 

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”

This is the second time we’ve been able to do this since I took office in 2011. Beginning with the Nov. 30 billing, the $50 monthly fee will be waived. I’m proud of the work our team does to save tax dollars for Ohioans while keeping UAN running well.

Our UAN is quite popular. It’s used by 90 percent of Ohio townships, 60 percent of our villages and half of our public libraries. 

For those who don’t know about it, UAN is a user-friendly financial software package we created to support the accounting, payroll and financial management activities of local governments. Because we also provide computer equipment and technical support, UAN is an easy, efficient way to improve financial record keeping.

If you want to learn more about UAN and the various modules available, visit our website at www.ohioauditor.gov/uan.html.

We don’t have any say in how local governments spend the $600 they’ll save through this fee holiday, nor should we. 

I do pray, though, that no one follows in the financial footsteps of comedian Steve Martin, who once said: “I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.”

This article was first published in the Ohio Township Magazine.