Taylor Releases Cleveland Area Community School Audits

Schools were once unable to be audited due to poor financial records

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cleveland -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor released the audits of two Cleveland area community schools.  The audits of The Arts Academy West and The Arts Academy revealed inadequate financial record keeping practices.  Consequently, both schools received a disclaimer opinion, meaning the records supplied by the schools were insufficient for auditors to reach a conclusion about the accuracy of their financial statements.

“Every tax dollar counts and the citizens of Ohio deserve to know how their tax dollars are spent,” said Taylor. “It is essential for public entities to keep accurate financial records to ensure that tax dollars are spent legally and appropriately.”

The audit report states that The Arts Academy West and The Arts Academy did not have accurate account balances available.  Additionally, the schools did not utilize the Uniform School Accounting System which is required by Ohio law.

The release of these two audits removes the schools from the “unauditable”, or unable to be audited due to missing or incomplete financial records, declaration made by the Auditor of State’s office.  The Arts Academy West and The Arts Academy received the unauditable declaration on October 25, 2007 for the fiscal year 2006 audit period.  The Arts Academy West and The Arts Academy are monitored by the same charter school sponsor organization, Ashe Culture Center.

In 2007, Taylor hosted the first ever series of financial training workshops for community schools around the state.  The 2008 training sessions have been scheduled for August 19 in Cincinnati and August 15 in Akron.  Further information about the events will be available at www.auditor.state.oh.us.  The voluntary workshops offer financial, accounting and compliance training to community school sponsors, administrators, fiscal officers, board members and management companies. In total, 270 individuals participated in the training workshops in 2007.