Chapter 117-2 Accounting and Reporting by Public Offices

117-2-01 Internal controls.

(A) All public officials are responsible for the design and operation of a system of internal control that is adequate to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives for their respective public offices in certain categories.

(B) "Internal control" means a process effected by an entity's governing board, management, and other personnel, designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives in the following categories:

(1) Reliability of financial reporting;

(2) Effectiveness and efficiency of operations;

(3) Compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and

(4) Safeguarding of assets.

(C) Internal control consists of the following five interrelated components:

(1) Control environment sets the tone of an organization, influencing the control consciousness of its people. It is the foundation for all other components of internal control, providing discipline and structure.

(2) Risk assessment, which is the entity's identification and analysis of relevant risks to the achievement of its objectives, forming a basis for determining how the risks should be managed.

(3) Control activities, which are policies and procedures that help ensure management directives are carried out.

(4) Information and communication, which are the identification, capture, and exchange of information in a form and time frame that enable people to carry out their responsibilities.

(5) Monitoring, which is a process that assesses the quality of internal control performance over time.

(D) When designing the public office's system of internal control and the specific control activities, management should consider the following:

(1) Ensure that all transactions are properly authorized in accordance with management's policies.

(2) Ensure that accounting records are properly designed.

(3) Ensure adequate security of assets and records.

(4) Plan for adequate segregation of duties or compensating controls.

(5) Verify the existence and valuation of assets and liabilities and periodically reconcile them to the accounting records.

(6) Perform analytical procedures to determine the reasonableness of financial data.

(7) Ensure the collection and compilation of the data needed for the timely preparation of financial statements.

(8) Monitor activities performed by service organizations.

(E) Consideration should be given to the cost benefit of the controls. The cost of controls should not exceed their benefit.

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2010 and 11/30/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 117.19
Rule Amplifies: 117.19
Prior Effective Dates: 1/31/1984, 4/30/1984, 1/1/1987, 1/23/1989, 7/1/2000

117-2-02 Accounting and reporting records.

(A) All local public offices shall maintain an accounting system and accounting records sufficient to enable the public office to identify, assemble, analyze, classify, record and report its transactions, maintain accountability for the related assets (and liabilities, if generally accepted accounting principles apply), document compliance with finance-related legal and contractual requirements and prepare financial statements required by rule 117-2-03 of the Administrative Code.

(B) The management of each local public office is responsible for the assertions underlying the information in the public office's financial statements. The accounting system should assure that the following five assertions are achieved for all transaction types and account balances applicable to the local public office's operations, considering the basis of accounting applicable to it:

(1) Existence/occurrence: That recorded assets (and liabilities, if generally accepted accounting principles apply) exist as of fiscal year end, recorded transactions have occurred and are not fictitious.

(2) Completeness: That all account balances and transactions that should be included in the financial records are included.

(3) Rights and obligations: That recorded assets are rights of the public office and recorded liabilities (if generally accepted accounting principles apply), are obligations of the public office at the fiscal year end.

(4) Valuation/allocation: That generally accepted accounting measurement and recognition principles are properly selected and applied. This includes accounting measurement and recognition principles prescribed by the auditor of state for public offices that are not required to follow generally accepted accounting principles.

(5) Presentation and disclosure: That financial statement elements are properly classified and described and appropriate disclosures are made as required by generally accepted accounting principles, or as prescribed by the auditor of state for entities that do not follow generally accepted accounting principles.

(C) The following systems and documents may be used to effectively maintain the accounting and budgetary records of the local public office:

(1) All local public offices should integrate the budgetary accounts, at the legal level of control or lower, into the financial accounting system. This means designing an accounting system to provide ongoing and timely information on unrealized budgetary receipts and remaining uncommitted balances of appropriations.

The legal level of control is the level (E.G., fund, program or function, department, or object) at which spending in excess of budgeted amounts would be a violation of law. This is established by the level at which the legislative body appropriates. For all local public offices subject to the provisions of Chapter 5705. of the Revised Code, except school districts and public libraries, the minimum legal level of control is described in section 5705.38 of the Revised Code. For school districts, the minimum legal level of control is prescribed in rule 117-6-02 of the Administrative Code. For public libraries, the minimum legal level of control is prescribed in rule 117-8-02 of the Administrative Code. The legal level of control is a discretionary decision to be made by the legislative authority, unless otherwise prescribed by statute.

(2) Purchase orders should be used to approve purchase commitments and to encumber funds against the applicable appropriation account(s), as required by section 5705.41(D) of the Revised Code. Purchase orders are not effective unless the fiscal officer's certificate is attached. The certificate should be attached at the time a commitment to purchase goods or services is made.

(3) Vouchers may be used as a written order authorizing the drawing of a check in payment of a lawful obligation of the public office. Each voucher shall contain the date, purchase order number, the account code, amount, approval, and any other required information. The local office should also attach supporting documentation to the voucher, such as vendor invoices.

(D) All local public offices may maintain accounting records in a manual or computerized format. The records used should be based on the nature of operations and services the public office provides, and should consider the degree of automation and other factors. Such records should include the following:

(1) Cash journal, which typically contains the following information: The amount, date, receipt number, check number, account code, purchase order number, and any other information necessary to properly classify the transaction.

(2) Receipts ledger, which typically assembles and classifies receipts into separate accounts for each type of receipt of each fund the public office uses. The amount, date, name of the payor, purpose, receipt number, and other information required for the transactions can be recorded on this ledger.

(3) Appropriation ledger, which may assemble and classify disbursements or expenditure/expenses into separate accounts for, at a minimum, each account listed in the appropriation resolution. The amount, fund, date, check number, purchase order number, encumbrance amount, unencumbered balance, amount of disbursement, uncommitted balance of appropriations and any other information required may be entered in the appropriate columns.

(4) In addition, all local public offices should maintain or provide a report similar to the following accounting records:

(a) Payroll records including:

(i) W-2's, W-4's and other withholding records and authorizations.

(ii) Payroll journal that records, assembles and classifies by pay period the name of employee, social security number, hours worked, wage rates, pay date, withholdings by type, net pay, and other compensation paid to an employee (such as a termination payment), and the fund and account charged for the payments.

(iii) Check register that includes, in numerical sequence, the check number, payee, net amount, and the date.

(iv) Information regarding nonmonetary benefits such as car usage and life insurance.

(v) Information, by employee, regarding leave balances and usage.

(b) Utilities billing records including:

(i) Master file of service address, account numbers, billing address, type of services provided, and billing rates.

(ii) Accounts receivable ledger for each service type, including for each customer account, the outstanding balance due as of the end of each billing period (with an aging schedule for past due amounts), current usage and billing amount, delinquent or late fees due, payments received and noncash adjustments, each maintained by date and amount.

(iii) Cash receipts records, recording cash received and date received on each account. This information should be used to post payments to individual accounts in the accounts receivable ledger described above.

(c) Capital asset records including such information as the original cost, acquisition date, voucher number, the asset type (land, building, vehicle, etc.), asset description, location, and tag number. Local governments preparing financial statements using generally accepted accounting principles will want to maintain additional data. Capital assets are tangible assets that normally do not change form with use and should be distinguished from repair parts and supply items.

(E) Each local public office should establish a capitalization threshold so that, unless the local public office establishes a capitalization threshold for any individual item of $5,000 or more, at a minimum, eighty per cent of the local public office's non-infrastructure assets are identified, classified, and recorded on the local public office's financial records.

Replaces: Part of 117-2-11, Part of 117-2-12, Part of 117-2-13, Part of 117-3-08, Part of 117-3-09, Part of 117-3-11, Part of 117-4-05, Part of 117-4-06, Part of 117-4-07, Part of 117-5-09, Part of 117-5-10, Part of 117-5-11

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2010 and 11/30/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 117.43
Rule Amplifies: 117.43
Prior Effective Dates: 1/31/1984, 4/30/1984, 1/1/1986, 2/28/1986, 3/14/1986, 2/1/1989, 7/1/2000

117-2-03 Annual financial reports.

Pursuant to section 117.38 of the Revised Code, all local public offices must file an annual financial report. Such reports shall be filed in accordance with the following:

(A) Each local public office shall prepare two copies of the report. The original shall be filed with the auditor of state and the copy shall be retained by the fiscal officer of the local public office.

(1) Such reports must be filed at the following location: "Auditor of State, Local Government Services Division, 88 East Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1140, or Post Office Box 1140, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1140."

(2) Such reports shall be filed either in paper form or electronically in a manner and format prescribed by the auditor of state.

(B) All counties, cities and school districts, including educational service centers and community schools, shall file annual financial reports which are prepared using generally accepted accounting principles.

(C) Local public offices that use the "Uniform Accounting Network" shall file their annual financial reports in accordance with the guidelines established by the "Uniform Accounting Network."

(D) All other local public offices who do not prepare their annual reports using generally accepted accounting principles shall file their annual financial reports on the forms provided by the auditor of state. If the auditor of state has not prescribed an annual financial reporting format for a type of local public office, those public offices shall file financial statements annually with the auditor of state, using the format used by the local public office.

Replaces: Part of 117-1-11, Part of 117-2-21, Part of 117-3-13, Part of 117-4-16, Part of 117-5-18

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2010 and 11/30/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 117.38
Rule Amplifies: 117.38
Prior Effective Dates: 1/31/1984, 4/30/1984, 8/27/1985, 11/18/1985, 1/1/1986, 2/28/1986, 3/14/1986, 3/20/1986, 1/1/1987, 1/23/1989, 2/1/1989, 8/1/1989, 7/1/2000

117-2-04 Notice procedures.

When proposing rules pursuant to section 117.20 of the Revised Code, except rules of an emergency nature, the auditor of state shall, at least thirty-five days before any public hearing on the proposed rule-making action, mail notice of the hearing to each public office and to each statewide organization that the auditor of state determines will be affected or represents persons who will be affected by the proposed rule-making action.

Replaces: 117-10-01

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2010 and 11/30/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 117.20
Rule Amplifies: 117.20
Prior Effective Dates: 1/31/1984, 4/30/1984, 7/1/2000

117-2-05 Standards for examinations.

(A) Except as otherwise provided in rules of the auditor of state, audits of public offices pursuant to Chapter 117. or section 115.56 of the Revised Code shall be performed in accordance with generally accepted governmental auditing standards.

(B) The auditor of state may also conduct other auditing engagements according to applicable professional auditing standards promulgated by the "American Institute of Certified Public Accountants" or other standards the auditor of state believes suitable under the circumstances that are promulgated by nationally recognized auditing organizations.

Replaces: 117-8-01

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2010 and 11/30/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 115.56 , 117.11 , 117.12 , 117.19
Rule Amplifies: 115.56 , 117.11 , 117.12 , 117.19
Prior Effective Dates: 1/31/1984, 4/30/1984, 9/24/1984, 12/23/1984, 7/1/2000

117-2-06 Audit Frequency.

Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary the auditor of state may provide for an audit any time the auditor of state deems it in the public interest or upon formal request by the governing body of the public office.

Replaces: 117-11-15

R.C. 119.032 review dates: 11/30/2010 and 11/30/2015
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 117.11
Rule Amplifies: 117.11
Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/1992, 7/1/2000