School audit shows accounting errors

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

An audit of the Ironton City Schools during the 2005-06 fiscal year has turned up some accounting problems for the district’s athletics department.

Superintendent Dean Nance said the all problems have been corrected and amounted to misplaced paperwork.

“There was never any money missing, no money taken and we have changed our paperwork process to match what the auditors recommended,” he said.

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The report from the office of Ohio State Auditor Mary Taylor showed $259 in missing athletics ticket sales and more than $24,000 in collected, but undocumented athletic department funds when the district was audited earlier this year.

“Anytime public funds are determined to be missing or unaccounted for, whether its $1 or $1 million, it’s a serious issue,” said Steve Faulkner, deputy press secretary for the auditor’s office. “Clearly there needs to be more oversight of management of the ticket sales and there should be a policy to monitor collecting and depositing of all money from athletics sales from all sporting events.”

The $259 has since been repaid, according to Taylor’s statement. While a prepared statement from the auditor’s office indicated no documentation has been provided from the school regarding the larger sum, Nance said the missing documentation has since been provided.

According to the audit, among other things:

4 Ticket accountability forms were not completed for varsity football and varsity boys’ basketball were not reviewed and signed by the then-athletic secretary, Debbie Filkins, nor the then-athletic director, Terry Parker and were not sent to the district treasurer’s office for review.

4 The football and basketball season ticket sales sheets did not contain the date in which the monies were collected or the amount collected.

4 Complimentary football and season tickets were determined by the athletic director. The school board was never given a list of individuals getting complimentary tickets, therefore, the list never got board approval.

4 There was lack of supporting documentation for several athletics events, such as ninth grade and junior varsity football and basketball, girls’ basketball, volleyball, baseball, softball or track; expense reimbursements from other school districts; commission from Coca-Cola; listing of season passes sold to sold to students and for spring athletic events; receipts from the Ohio High School Athletics Association (OSHAA) and monies received from contracts with other schools districts.

Nance said once auditors requested certain information, it was found and produced immediately.

Nance said the $259 ticket sales issue was the result of teachers’ admittance that was not correctly handled. The teachers’ union contract stipulates teachers are admitted to sporting events for free.

In the past, teachers were given passes. During the audit year, they were given tickets. As for board approval of the list of complimentary tickets, Nance said the board will be given such a list in the future.

In a prepared statement, Taylor said the inability to account for public money increases the potential for theft and fraud.