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Outside Accounts Lead to $11,000 Athletic Department Findings at Olentangy
Columbus – Confusion over outside bank accounts led to findings for recovery exceeding $11,000 in the Olentangy Local School District athletic department, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“These findings were promptly and properly repaid, but it should not take an audit to correct this kind of error,” Yost said. “This is an opportunity for every district to take a look at whether and when outside bank accounts are a good idea.”
Under Ohio law, boards of education have substantial discretion to define payment procedures and the proper use of bank accounts, but once those procedures are defined, they must be followed. Policies adopted by the Olentangy Board of Education require all district purchases to be administered by the treasurer.
Three athletic directors established outside accounts to account for activity related to tournaments sponsored by the Ohio High School Athletic Association; however they also used the accounts to make district purchases that should not be made without the formal procedural knowledge and approval of the treasurer and the board of education.
During a four-year period from 2008 to 2011, Liberty High School Athletic Director Thomas Gerhardt spent $7,372 and Olentangy High School Athletic Director Jay Wolfe spent $3,970; in both cases, findings for recovery were issued because the athletic directors could not gather records to legitimate the expenditures. Orange High School Athletic Director Anthony Milano also made similar purchases, but no findings were issued because he was able to gather documentation to support those transactions.
The audit noted that the district conducted an internal investigation to ensure no other outside bank accounts are being used for school district business. The audit also reported that proper accounting controls have been established to ensure all district funds are administered by the district treasurer.
A full copy of the audit may be found online.
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.