In a short ceremony held Wednesday, Sept. 23, at Township Hall, Ohio Auditor of State, Mr. Keith Faber presented West Chester Township officials with the 2020 Auditor of State Award with Distinction. This prestigious award recognizes West Chester Township with top honors in financial reporting.
The award puts West Chester Township in an elite category of local government entities that follow excellent financial record keeping practices. Out of 1308 townships in Ohio, only two (2) earned the award this year – West Chester and Deerfield Townships.
“To earn the Award with Distinction takes hard work and a committed fiscal team,” Auditor Faber said. “Communities should be proud that stewards of tax dollars put in the extra effort to maintain clean records.”
The Auditor’s Office presents the Auditor of State Award with Distinction to local governments and school districts upon the completion and review of a financial audit.
On hand to accept the award were: Trustees Ann Becker, Mark Welch and Lee Wong; Fiscal Officer Bruce Jones; Finance Director Ken Keim with his staff and Administrator Larry D. Burks.
“The Auditor of State has recognized West Chester, again, for its excellence in financial reporting,” Fiscal Officer Jones said at the September 22 regular meeting of the Board of Trustees (starts at about 37:40). He thanked the team for their collaborative effort.
“This is the kind of recognition that bodes well when you’re dealing with entities like Moody’s and their evaluating our credit-worthiness, and it speaks to the integrity of our records, so it is very important. It was invaluable when township officials traveled to Chicago and met with Moody’s to get our great Aaa rating and subsequent low interest bond to do the $20M DDI Union Centre Blvd interchange improvement that just completed in July.”
The Auditor of State’s office is responsible for auditing more than 6,000 state and local government agencies and few get the Distinction Award!
Entities that receive the award meet the following criteria of a “clean” audit report:
- The entity must file financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office by the statutory due date, without extension, via the Hinkle System, on a GAAP accounting basis and prepare a CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report);
- The audit report does not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, Uniform Guidance (Single Audit) findings or questioned costs;
Also, the entity’s management letter contains NO COMMENTS related to:
- Ethics referrals.
- Questioned costs less than the threshold per the Uniform Guidance.
- Lack of timely report submission.
- Bank reconciliation issues.
- Failure to obtain a timely Single Audit in accordance with Uniform Guidance.
- Findings for recovery less than $500.
- Public meetings or public records issues.
- The entity has no other financial or other concerns.
As a Township Trustee, I’m proud of all the hard work Fiscal Officer Bruce Jones, Finance Director Ken Keim and their staff do to maintain impeccable records that withstand scrutiny and are readily available for every resident to review.
It’s comforting to know that West Chester Township is financially sound, particularly in light of all the financial trouble that many government jurisdictions have experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic. West Chester is forthright, honest and transparent with our financial records and I attribute this to sound fiscally conservative principles and focusing on our core competencies which are Police, Fire, Roads and Parks.
Speaking of Police and Fire, I want to thank West Chester Residents for overwhelmingly passing the Police and Fire levies on November 3, 2020. This was not a want, but a need. Thank You!