Delaware County's chief financial inspecting office last week was among a select group of public offices to receive a statewide award for accounting prowess.

Delaware County's chief financial inspecting office last week was among a select group of public offices to receive a statewide award for accounting prowess.

Fewer than 5 percent of all Ohio government agencies have been identified as performing proper accounting in fiscal year 2007, according to state auditor Mary Taylor.

The Delaware County Auditor's Office was among the standout offices, and last Wednesday received a "Making Your Tax Dollars Count" award from Taylor for excellence in financial accounting.

"To be included is an honor," said Delaware County auditor Todd Hanks. "I can only say this is a great reflection on the staff of my fiscal office."

Hanks and a staff of eight manage the office's fiscal division. Last year, that group oversaw and managed $538-million in funds, including sales tax collections, county expenditures and all revenues coming through the county.

"I am pleased to recognize Delaware County for properly accounting for the tax dollars they spend," Taylor said. "The community should be proud of their commitment to making sure that each tax dollar is spent appropriately."

To be eligible for the award, created this year by Taylor, government entities had to complete and submit a comprehensive annual financial report.

They also must have no improper findings or issues in their audit reports for the previous fiscal year, and there must be no other financial concerns involving the entities.

"There were no findings present in our office," Hanks said.

"It shows a core work ethic from my staff."

In addition to effort and attention to detail, Hanks attributed the statewide recognition to his staff's efforts to stay in tune with annual training programs and its ability to coordinate duties with his office's data department.

While the award doesn't reap any direct financial rewards, Hanks said, it could positively affect the county's ability to borrow money in the future.

"It does benefit us in the long run by giving us lower interest rates and better bond ratings," he said.

"But most of all, it indicates to the public the job we're doing and that our practices are sound."

nellis@thisweeknews.com