Olentangy Valley News

State auditor brings kudos to Powell


State Auditor Dave Yost said it's not often he gets to deliver good news to city governments.

"As auditor of state, I end up having the duty of having to bring bad news quite frequently," he said. "Something didn't go quite right."

Luckily for Powell officials, last week's City Council meeting was one of those rare occasions in which Yost was recognizing the cities that did all the right things.

Yost visited Powell on Feb. 18 to present the city with the Auditor of State Award with Distinction after a recent audit of the city's financial records.

School districts and local governments that receive the award must get a "clean" report from the auditor of state's office. Governments are eligible for the clean designation if, among other conditions, the auditor's report reveals no:

•findings for recovery.

•material weaknesses -- or conditions that could lead to financial misstatements.

•questioned costs.

"What this award means is that the city of Powell is performing in the top 5 percentile of all governments in the state of Ohio," Yost said. "That's a real achievement for your finance director and the rest of the staff."

The auditor's office is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 state and local government offices.

Yost said the award also honored the city for its comprehensive annual financial report, which local governments must file yearly with the auditor's office.

" 'With distinction' means you've also produced what the accounting profession recognizes as the highest quality of financial report," he said.

Powell Finance Director Debra Miller gave credit to council, the city's administration and staff for working with her to manage the city's finances responsibly.

"The council has allowed me ... to put the rules in place that the staff will follow and make my job so much easier," she said.