COLUMBUS – Incomplete records prompted Auditor of State Dave Yost to place the Preble County District Library on the “unauditable” list.
“Complete financial records shine a light on local governments,” Yost said in a press release issued on Tuesday, Aug. 11. “Taxpayers should not be left in the dark on how their dollars are being spent.”
During the course of the regular financial audit of the Preble County District Library for the period Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2014, the Auditor of State’s office determined that the condition of the library’s financial records was not adequate to complete the audit. In a letter to the library, the Auditor of State’s office provided a list of records required to complete the audit.
“It turned out that our books were not in the condition that they wanted them,” said Andy Mollica, Preble County District Library Executive Director. “And I want to be absolutely clear on this that does not mean that there’s any impropriety going on.”
In the letter, the auditor’s office asked for financial statements for the 2014 fiscal year supported by the accounting records, and monthly bank reconciliations reconciling the accounting system to the bank records for the period of Jan. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2014.
“As far as we’re concerned there is a paper trail. It, perhaps, does not suffice the state auditor. We felt comfortable with the condition of our books and perhaps they disagree with that,” said Mollica, who has been on the job since early June. “We, obviously, as a public entity want to be squeaky clean and comply with the auditor and if they’re not happy we’re going to do everything we can to fix that. That’s where we are on this right now.”
Within 90 days of the date of the letter, which was dated Aug. 6, the library 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 library 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.
“What we’re talking about, in my opinion, is data entry type errors. The money is all still there,” Mollica said. “That’s what the issue is, getting it in proper format.”
Mollica said his main concern is the perception the PCDL is “not acting in the best interest of the taxpayer and our patron base and that is far, far from the truth.”
The Auditor of State’s Local Government Section (LGS) is available to library 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.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.