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Hamilton Township Audit Confirms Accounting Failures
Columbus – Years of inaccurate accounting and budgeting in Hamilton Township (Warren County) went uncorrected and created the financial issues plaguing it today, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“All local governments should take note,” Auditor Yost said. “Internal controls left unchecked get worse over time.”
The audit reviewed the township’s financial records from 2010 through 2013 and identified one finding for recovery and multiple areas of noncompliance. Former fiscal officer Jacqualine Terwilleger paid into Ohio Deferred Compensation, but received credits to her account in excess of what was withheld from her paychecks. This resulted in a finding for recovery of $6,834. The finding was repaid on Thursday, July 10, 2014.
Auditors determined that there was not an adequate separation of duties related to the deposit of receipts, posting of transactions and reconciliation of township accounts. These duties were often incomplete or incorrect, and financial information was not provided to the Board of Trustees for review. The township’s inaccurate records resulted in uninformed financial decisions, unallowable expenditures and deficit spending.
On April 9, 2014, the township was placed in fiscal emergency after a financial analysis found deficit fund balances of $2,588,354 and $2,576,119 at December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2013, respectively. The analysis also confirmed treasury deficits that exceeded one-sixth of treasury receipts by $924,151 and $1,048,081 at December 31, 2012 and December 31, 2013, respectively.
Terwilleger retired in March, 2014. The township has since updated its accounting system to the Uniform Accounting Network.
A full copy of this audit may be accessed online.
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.