Upper Arlington News

Finance department earns state auditor's top honor


The Ohio Auditor's Office once again has recognized the Upper Arlington Finance Department for going above and beyond state requirements in financial recordkeeping and reporting.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost presented the Auditor of State Award with Distinction April 14 to Upper Arlington Finance Director Cathe Armstrong and her staff for financial reporting in 2013.

According to Yost, the award represents not only a clean audit of the city's financial records, but additional work the department has done to provide transparency with respect to Upper Arlington's revenues and expenditures.

"The nature of being an auditor is that you're not always welcome when you show up," Yost said at the April 14 Upper Arlington City Council meeting. "So much of the work we do is pointing out where things can be improved, shored up, corrected.

"The Auditor's Award with Distinction is given to those who not only have a clean audit. You've gone the extra step and are reporting with a CAFR, a comprehensive annual financial report."

In addition to having a clean audit and CAFR, the award is given only to government agencies that report financial information to the state auditor in a timely fashion, have less than $10,000 in questioned costs and whose findings for recovery amount to less than $100.

Additionally, the agencies must operate in accordance with public meeting and open records laws, and they must have no ethics referrals.

"In Ohio, only about 5 percent of our auditees we looked at earned this award," Yost said. "Your performance is in the 95th percentile of all entities."

The city of Upper Arlington and its finance department have received the Auditor of State Award with Distinction -- formerly known as the Excellence in Financial Reporting award -- each year since 1994.

Armstrong, Upper Arlington finance director since 1986, accepted the award flanked by her staff, which she credited for helping the city receive the recognition.

"This award belongs to the department," she said. "If it weren't for their dedication to their jobs and high standards ... this award would not be possible."