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First Year of Basic Audits Saved Taxpayers $160,000
Columbus – More than 80 of Ohio’s smallest local governments saved an average of 74 percent on their audit costs thanks to the basic audit option offered by Auditor of State Dave Yost one year ago today.
“Accountability at a lower cost – that’s a win-win situation for taxpayers,” Auditor Yost said. “These streamlined audits allowed an additional $160,000 to go towards providing the services the public expects and deserves.”
Since its introduction one year ago today, basic audits have saved 84 of Ohio’s local governments $160,307.81 on their overall audit costs. Compared to the previous average audit cost of $2,374 for these entities, a basic audit only costs an average of $466. In one local government, the audit cost went from $10,140 to $492 – down 95 percent. Basic audits also were conducted of three additional newly-created public entities.
The basic audit option was introduced by Auditor Yost via Auditor of State Bulletin 2012-007 in September 2012. Basic audits are an on-site, limited review of key internal controls and targeted testing of significant transactions, where appropriate. They are designed to assess if the entity is adequately maintaining necessary, up-to-date controls and records, and conducting the business of the entity as required. If the results of the basic audit are not acceptable, the Auditor of State may decide to conduct a full financial audit. If records are not properly maintained, the Auditor of State may declare the entity to be unauditable.
Entities qualify for basic audits based on having average annual disbursements of $100,000 or less and having no disqualifying audit concerns as defined by Auditor of State bulletins. The following public offices could be eligible: villages, townships, libraries, parks and recreation districts, water and sewer districts, county boards of health, conservancy districts, solid waste districts, regional planning commissions, fire and ambulance districts, cemeteries, agricultural societies and Family & Children First councils, and others on a case by case basis.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 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.