Taylor Releases Trumbull County Community School Audits

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Warren -

State Auditor Mary Taylor released the fiscal year 2006 audits of two formerly unauditable Trumbull County community schools today.  The final audit opinion shows that auditors were eventually able to get a complete and accurate picture of finances for both the Academy of Arts and Humanities and Arts and Science Academy. 

This is the first audit of both schools.  The Academy of Arts and Humanities and Arts and Science Academy were declared “unauditable”, or unable to be audited due to missing or incomplete financial records, on May 9, 2007.  The “unauditable” designation will be removed from both schools as a result of the release of today’s audit.

“Public entities must provide accurate documentation accounting for the use of public funds to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent legally and appropriately,” Taylor said. “The failure to do so increases the potential of misuse or theft of tax dollars and could affect future funding.  I am pleased that these audits are complete and encourage the schools to build stronger accounting practices for the future.”

Audits for both schools had the same findings.  The audits reveal that:

• The schools did not apply for tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service as required by law.
• Minutes of board meetings were not maintained at individual schools.
• The schools had only three individuals on their board of directors.  State law requires five members.
• Basic financial statements were incomplete and not prepared until almost a year after the school’s fiscal year end.
• Forms for federal grants were inaccurately completed.

This summer, Taylor conducted a series of regional financial training workshops for community schools.  The workshops were created to instruct attendees on ways to improve financial oversight and accountability, as well as provide legal and fraud awareness training.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending.  Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).

A copy of the full audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.