Ohio Performance Team

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What Is a Performance Audit

Performance audits examine the efficiency and effectiveness of government programs and functions with the goal of making them better. While financial audits determine whether public funds are spent legally and managed in accordance with accounting principles, performance audits examine whether funds are spent wisely and whether programs achieve their intended purpose.

Performance audits, like financial audits, are conducted in three phases: planning, fieldwork, and reporting. Reports are written to be accessible to both government officials and taxpayers; the data are often presented visually to make the information more meaningful to all readers.

Performance audits are collaborative and require the participation of the organization being audited. Each audit is tailored to the client and may include a range of subject areas. They may review the overall operations of an entire entity or just a single department. They can also examine a function or service that cuts across operations or a single issue that involves several departments.

Staffing and employee compensation, program results, contract management, transportation systems, and facility and asset use are all areas commonly included in a performance audit. Results might identify cost savings, duplicative or underused services that could be reduced or eliminated, and gaps and overlaps in services.

A performance audit can be used by any government seeking to improve operations; identify cost savings; and produce sustainable, balanced budgets.

About the Ohio Performance Team (OPT)

The Ohio Performance Team (OPT) is made up of professionals with a mix of government (public sector) and industry (private sector) backgrounds, as well as in-depth experience in research, operations, and management. Our team members are drawn from the fields of public administration, economics, information technology, statistics, human services, public works, environmental science, and education.

Ohio Performance Team members are active in relevant professional organizations and are committed to lifelong learning. While required under auditing standards to obtain 80 hours of training every two years, OPT members often exceed this threshold, expanding their expertise and knowledge in a variety of areas related to government operations.

Though the largest group of OPT members is in Columbus, we have staff located throughout the state to better serve local governments in all corners of Ohio.

Who Benefits from a Performance Audit

Performance audits are beneficial to all types of government, from townships and villages to large state agencies. A performance audit can be designed to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs, align operations with mission and strategy, or improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. The Ohio Performance Team has worked with a broad range of local and state entities to improve performance and outcomes.

State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions

State agencies can use performance audit results to improve the delivery of services and reduce overall costs to the taxpayers. The Ohio Performance Team has worked with more than 20 agencies on a variety of topics.

Under Ohio law, the Auditor of State’s Office is required to perform a minimum of four state agency performance audits each biennium. This may include an audit of a university or college. State agencies pay for performance audits from biennial appropriations. The Ohio Performance Team releases an annual report providing a status update of state agency performance audits and implementation of recommendations.

Local Governments

There are more than 5,800 state agencies and local governments in the State of Ohio including:
– Townships, Villages, and Cities
– Counties and their Departments, Boards, Commissions and Offices
– Courts;
– Library, Park, Water, Sewer, and Solid Waste Districts
– Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

Any of these entities receiving funds from or through the state may request a performance audit. In addition, the Ohio Performance Team can help local governments considering consolidating or sharing services determine the feasibility of merging. Finally, the Auditor of State’s Office may use its statutory authority to conduct a performance audit of a local government.

Local governments typically directly fund a performance audit. However, local governments in financial difficulty may be able to request a performance audit be paid through state appropriations dedicated to fiscal oversight of financially troubled entities.

School Districts

School districts and local or regional K-12 educational organizations may request and pay for a performance audit. The Ohio Performance Team has worked with rural, suburban, and urban districts of all sizes and demographic profiles, as well as joint vocational schools, community schools, and educational service centers.

Those districts showing imminent financial distress through their five-year forecasts may be selected by the Ohio Performance Team to receive a performance audit paid through state appropriations to help the district find ways to resolve their financial shortfalls.

How to Request an Audit

Any governmental entity can request a performance audit consult by contacting the Ohio Performance Team. The scope and timing of an audit is dependent on staff availability, but the Auditor of State’s Office seeks to serve all clients interested in performance audit work.

Government representatives can work with their regional liaison to schedule a discussion about a performance audit or contact the Ohio Performance Team directly by filling out this Audit Request form. Concerned citizens interested in a performance audit are encouraged to work with their local officials, or their state representative directly.

Charges and Cost for an Audit

The cost of a performance depends on the depth and breadth of the work performed. Organizations can reduce the cost of the audit or maximize the work performed for a fixed dollar amount by ensuring their data is accurate, and by responding to performance auditors’ request's for information and feedback.

As a public sector organization, the Auditor of State’s office works for the taxpayers and aims to keep audit costs low, seeking only partial direct cost recovery. The Auditor of State’s Office partially subsidizes local government work through a specific appropriation from the State of Ohio.

Contact Us

The quickest way to reach the team is to fill out this Performance Contact form.

You can always contact the Ohio Performance Team directly
by phone at 800-282-0370 or by email performance@ohioauditor.gov.

Government representatives can work with their regional liaison to schedule a meeting with members of the performance team as well. regional liaison look up

For all other non-performance audit questions, fill out this General Inquiry form.
Note: Concerned citizens are encouraged to work with their local officials, or contact their state representative directly.