The public utilities commission may establish a system of accounts to be kept by public utilities or railroads, including municipally owned or operated public utilities, or may classify said public utilities or railroads and establish a system of accounts for each class, and may prescribe the manner in which such accounts shall be kept. Such system shall, when practicable, conform to the system prescribed by the department of taxation. The commission may prescribe the forms of accounts, records, and memorandums to be kept by such public utilities or railroads, including the accounts, records, and memorandums of the movement of traffic as well as of the receipts and expenditure of moneys, and any other forms, records, and memorandums which are necessary to carry out Chapters 4901., 4903., 4905., 4907., 4909., 4921., and 4923. of the Revised Code. The system of accounts established by the commission and the forms of accounts, records, and memorandums prescribed by it shall not be inconsistent, in the case of corporations subject to the act of congress entitled "An act to regulate commerce" approved February 4, 1887, and the acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, with the systems and forms established for such corporations by the interstate commerce commission. This section does not affect the power of the public utilities commission to prescribe forms of accounts, records, and memorandums covering information in addition to that required by the interstate commerce commission. The public utilities commission may, after hearing had upon its own motion or complaint, prescribe by order the accounts in which particular outlays and receipts shall be entered, charged, or credited. Where the public utilities commission has prescribed the forms of accounts, records, or memorandums to be kept by any public utility or railroad for any of its business, no such public utility or railroad shall keep any accounts, records, or memorandums for such business other than those so prescribed, or those prescribed by or under the authority of any other state or of the United States, except such accounts, records, or memorandums as are explanatory of and supplemental to the accounts, records, or memorandums prescribed by the commission. The commission shall at all times have access to all accounts kept by such public utilities or railroads and may designate any of its officers or employees to inspect and examine any such accounts. The auditor or other chief accounting officer of any such public utility or railroad shall keep such accounts and make the reports provided for in sections 4905.14 and 4907.13 of the Revised Code. Any auditor or chief accounting officer who fails to comply with this section shall be subject to the penalty provided for in division (B) of section 4905.99 of the Revised Code. The attorney general shall enforce such section upon request of the public utilities commission by mandamus or other appropriate proceedings.
Effective Date: 07-01-1996 .