With a statewide staff of more than 800 auditors and other professionals, the Auditor of State’s office is responsible for auditing all public offices in Ohio, more than 5,600 entities including cities, counties, villages, townships, schools, state universities and public libraries as well as all state agencies, boards and commissions. The Auditor of State’s office is organized in five major divisions:
- Financial Audit
- Performance Audit
- Public Affairs
The Human Resources Section performs all personnel related duties within the Auditor of State’s Office including hiring and managing all employee benefits.
The Finance Section is responsible for all financial and cost-management functions for the Auditor of State’s office. Responsibilities include payroll, purchasing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, facilities and fleet management, and budget and financial reporting.
Information Technology (IT) develops and maintains the technology and administrative services in the Auditor of State’s Office giving employees convenient and timely access to the office’s computer network. It also provides communication support and record keeping functions, including graphics, document printing and records retention.
The Uniform Accounting Network (UAN) is a computerized, integrated financial management and information system serving local governments. The UAN division provides entities with the software, technology, training and support for public officials to apply required accounting standards to their financial record keeping.
Regional Liaisons have the responsibility of field operations in each of the Auditor of State’s nine local offices: Akron, Athens, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, Youngstown, and the Ohio region. The liaisons serve as a link between the Auditor of State’s Office and the general public, local officials and constituents.
The Legal Counsel offers legal guidance to the team of auditors who represent the Auditor of State’s Office when working with state and local entities. The legal department will provide relevant legal authority to constituents to share with their respective legal counsel concerning matters related to an audit.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) works to aggressively identify fraud and public corruption. The SIU is involved in the collection, review and decision-making processes involving all complaints of a criminal nature. A designated representative is available to constituents who want to report fraud suspicions or occurrences by phone or online. The units’ objective is to reduce and recover the loss of public funds attributable to theft, embezzlement or fraud by prioritizing those cases that constitute criminal conduct.
The Open Government Unit provides local officials and citizens training and resources to help them better understand their rights and obligations under the Ohio Public Records Act and the Ohio Open Meetings Act. Staff attorneys from the AOS Legal Division and a full-time paralegal serve as the office’s experts on public records and open meetings. At the request of local officials, the office offers training seminars and other educational resources on Sunshine Laws.
The Center for Audit Excellence is responsible for the development of auditing standards of practice and quality assurance based upon national standards and Ohio law. Through regular trainings, the center ensures that all employees working for the Auditor of State are up to date on these standards.
The Financial Audit Group is responsible for conducting financial audits of all public entities as required under Ohio law. Generally, the Auditor of State’s office is required to perform these financial audits at least once every two fiscal years. The office must review the methods, accuracy and legality of the accounts, financial reports, records, and files of all public entities.
The Local Government Services Section (LGS) serves as a consulting and fiscal advisory group to all governmental agencies and subdivisions. It provides an array of services including, but not limited to, financial forecasts, GAAP conversion assistance, annual financial report processing, record reconstruction and reconciliation, fiscal watch or emergency assistance, and financial management training for elected officials.
The Special Audit Section conducts special audits of state and local government subdivisions and private organizations that receive public funds. A special audit is a limited scope examination of financial records and other information designed to investigate allegations of fraud, theft or misappropriation of public funds -- or to quantify the extent of alleged fraud, theft or misappropriation.
The Medicaid Contract Audit Section is a standalone department under the Audit Division dedicated to ensuring that Ohio’s Medicaid dollars are not illegally spent or wasted by those working under contracts with state agencies.
The Ohio Performance Team (OPT) was unveiled by the Auditor of State in August 2011 to conduct performance audits of state agencies. Unlike financial audits where the focus is on an agency’s past activities, OPT ensures efficient use of Ohio’s tax dollars by functioning like a consulting group with a proactive, forward focus.
The team identifies areas of inefficiency or low effectiveness in public-sector entities and provides recommendations for corrective action. By law, the Auditor of State is authorized to conduct a performance audit for any school district or local government in fiscal caution (school districts only), fiscal watch, or fiscal emergency. Audit results help entities in fiscal distress improve the cost effectiveness of operations and resolve their financial difficulties.
The Legislative Affairs Section serves as a link between the Auditor of State’s Office and the Ohio General Assembly. This section ensures that state senators and representatives understand the duties and needs of the office and also provides legislators with the necessary information to make well-informed decisions on legislation affecting the Auditor of State’s Office.
The Public Affairs Section serves as a liaison between the Auditor of State’s Office and the news media. The section is responsible for all internal and external communications and publications. Public Affairs also issues news releases and manages the content of the office’s Web site, ensuring that the public at large - through the news media and the Internet - has timely, accurate information about the activities of the office.