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Village of Newtonsville Placed in Fiscal Caution
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost placed the Village of Newtonsville (Clermont County) in a state of fiscal caution today and added it to the “unauditable list” as a result of significant deficiencies in its financial records.
“When your records are so bad that our team cannot determine fund balances, that’s saying something – and it’s not a compliment,” Auditor Yost said. “The citizens of Newtonsville should be quite concerned. We are, and that’s why Newtonsville is under fiscal caution.”
State auditors found that the village does not have a fiscal officer, and gave officials 90 days to bring village accounts, records and reports into an auditable condition. In addition, village officials have 60 days to provide a plan to correct the conditions that led to the declaration of fiscal caution.
A review of financial data on March 15, 2016 discovered that the village’s account journals and ledgers have not been reconciled with the bank since December 31, 2012 (39 months). Additionally, audit staff could not determine the village’s fund balances for 2014, 2015 and 2016 because its records were in such poor condition and required reconstruction.
The village’s 2012-2013 basic audit identified significant deficiencies, material weaknesses and direct noncompliance with Ohio law. The audit determined that expenditures exceeded appropriations in the general fund, contributions to OPERS were not submitted, bank reconciliations were not performed and financial reports were not filed for either year.
Auditors found that the village moved the entire balance of the Mayor’s Court account to the Village account. However, a percentage of those funds should have been remitted to the state.
The Auditor of State’s guidelines for a declaration of fiscal caution include (1) unauditable financial records; (2) significant deficiencies, material weaknesses, direct and material noncompliance as disclosed in the financial audit; (3) deficit fund balances; (4) a carryover fund balance of less than one month’s average expenditures for two consecutive years, and (5) a failure to reconcile accounting journals and ledgers with the treasury.
The Auditor of State may visit and inspect the entity while under fiscal caution and may provide technical assistance to the entity in implementing proposals to eliminate the conditions that prompted the fiscal caution declaration.
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.
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