Findings Issued in Village of West Alexandria Audit
For Immediate Release:
January 5, 2021
Findings Issued in Village of West Alexandria Audit
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber’s Office released the 2017-2018 financial audit of Preble County’s Village of West Alexandria. The audit included multiple findings including a finding for recovery totaling $3,326.
A finding for recovery is issued by the Auditor of State when public funds have been misspent or misappropriated. Penalties, late fees, and interest charges are an example of unnecessary expenditures which do not serve a proper public purpose and result in a finding for recovery.
Due to a lack of internal controls, the Village paid $3,326 in penalties, late fees, and interest charges for various credit cards and expenditures for services, as well as payroll withholding submissions to the Internal Revenue Service, Ohio State Department of Taxation, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, and Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund.
A finding for recovery was issued for $3,326 against Wendy Chesney, former Clerk-Treasurer, in favor of the Village's General Fund for $1,564, Street Fund for $103, State Highway Fund for $66, Ambulance Operating Fund for $890, Fire Operating Fund for $207, Water Fund for $260, Sewer Fund for $104, Sanitation Fund for $42, Income Tax Fund for $10, and Ambulance Billing Fund for $80. Further, Wendy Chesney’s bonding company, The Cincinnati Insurance Company, will be jointly and severally liable for the amount.
The audit of the Village also included many other findings:
Noncompliance – Destruction of Records
- The Village was unable to provide documents and receipts.
Noncompliance – Record of Minutes
- The Village could not locate or provide complete minutes for multiple meetings.
Noncompliance – Annual Continuing Education for Treasurers
- The Village Clerk/Treasurer did not file an exemption for required training in 2017.
Noncompliance – Appropriations Exceeding Estimated Resources
- In 2017 and 2018, the total appropriations exceeded estimated resources by $1,999 and $37,880, respectively.
Noncompliance – Records Retention Schedule
- The Village did not have a formal records retention policy or records retention schedule in place during the audit period.
Noncompliance – Capital Assets
- The Village did not establish a capital asset policy, including a capitalization threshold, for its capital assets, nor did it maintain any detailed records with regard to capital assets the Village purchased.
Noncompliance – Super Blanket Purchase Orders
- The Village utilized a super blanket purchase order in 2018 where the certification extended beyond the fiscal year-end.
Noncompliance – Untimely Deposits
- Two of seventeen Mayor’s Court receipts tested in 2017 were not deposited timely.
Internal Control Deficiency – Cash Reconciliation
- Beginning in 2018, monthly bank to book reconciliations were not prepared or reviewed each month. When the State Auditor’s Local Government Services came in to reconcile the records, the bank balance exceeded the adjusted book balance by $17,286.
Internal Control Deficiency – Financial Statement Misstatements
- The Village financial statements contained multiple errors which were deemed material and resulted in adjustments to their financial statements and accounting system.
Internal Control Deficiency – Review of EMS Reports
- There were unexplained variances between the monthly amounts deposited in the bank and recorded in the accounting system and the monthly EMS Summary Reports for 2018. The total amounts deposited in the bank and recorded in the accounting system exceeded the amount indicated by the monthly reports.
Internal Control Deficiency – Posting Budgetary Data in the Accounting System
- The Village did not have procedures in place to accurately post authorized budgetary measurers to the accounting systems and appropriations and Certificates of Estimated Resources approved by Council were not properly posted.
Internal Control Deficiency – Law Enforcement Trust Fund
- The Village did not record one deposit for $125 in the law enforcement trust fund checkbook and did not have a running cash balance documented after August 2018.
Internal Control Deficiency – Income Tax Distributions
- For 2017 and 2018, the estimated distribution for the General Fund and the actual amount transferred exceeded the estimation. There was also no evidence that the Council approved the increased distributions.
Internal Control Deficiency – Credit Card Policy
- The Village did not have a credit card policy in place during the audit period. A policy was later approved in April 2020.
Internal Control Deficiency – Disaster Recovery Plan
- The Village does not have a documented disaster recovery plan.
Internal Control Deficiency – Leave Approval
- The Mayor or Council did not approve an employee’s vacation leave in 2017.
A full copy of this report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.