Ohio government accounting principles

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The Ohio Auditor of State is responsible for auditing all public offices in Ohio, more than 6,500 entities including cities, counties, villages, townships, schools, state universities and public libraries as well as all state agencies, boards and commissions. Mary Taylor was elected Auditor of the State in 2006. Her office publishes the state's audit reports online, directly on the home page.[1]

In a report published in May 2012, The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) rated Ohio “Tardy” in filing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) – The annual report of state and local governmental entities. IFTA rated 23 states timely, 24 states tardy, and 3 states excessively tardy. IFTA does not consider the state's CAFRs, and those of the other states, to be accurate representations of the state’s financial condition because the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) basis does not include significant liabilities for the pension plans and for other post employment benefits, such as health care.[2] Ohio's CAFRs are prepared and published online by the Ohio Office of Budget and Management. J. Pari Sabety is the Director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.[3]

Ohio currently has no statewide, official spending database online. However, if passed, House Bill 420 would make this information available.

Accounting transparency checklist

Truth 1.png

Comprehensive Y
600px-Yes check.png
Balanced budget N
600px-Red x.png
Timeliness N
600px-Red x.png
Usability P

The good

  • The website has Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) dating back to 1997.[4]
  • An independent auditor’s report is published on page 1 of the document.[5]
  • It provides supplements to the budget workup, starting on page 141.
  • The budget is posted using organized and consistent methods of financial reporting.
  • Ohio law requires a balanced budget, but allows a deficit under $750,000.[6]
  • It includes all costs incurred by the government, including long-term liabilities, starting on page 36 of the document.[5]
  • The CAFR compares estimated and actual budgetary numbers, such as on page 38 of the document.[5]

The bad

  • The Ohio office was tardy in submitting the budget.
  • The CAFR is posted in a PDF format, so it’s not searchable online.

External links