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Hamilton Township Financial Records “Unauditable”
Columbus – Incomplete financial records prompted Auditor of State Dave Yost to place Hamilton Township (Lawrence County) on the “unauditable” list.
“Poor records lead to poor service for taxpayers,” Auditor Yost said. “Auditable records must be provided to complete the audit and ensure accountability.”
During the course of the regular financial audit of Hamilton Township for the period Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2015, the Independent Public Accounting firm Balestra, Harr & Scherer, CPAs, Inc. noted incomplete financial records. As a result, the Auditor of State’s office determined that the condition of the township’s financial records was not adequate to complete the audit. In a letter to the township, the Auditor of State’s office provided a list of records required to complete the audit.
Within 90 days of the date of the letter, the township must revise its financial records and provide the necessary data. Failure to bring accounts, records, and reports to an auditable condition may result in legal action, including the possibility of the attorney general issuing a subpoena to township officials to explain the condition of records. The attorney general may also file suit to compel the officials to prepare and/or produce the required information.
The Auditor of State’s Local Government Services Section (LGS) is available to township officials to assist in bringing records to an auditable condition. LGS provides a wide variety of services to local governments, including reconstructing financial records and aid in the reconciliation of books.
An entity is removed from the “unauditable” list once the audit is completed and released to the public.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 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.