- Associated Press - Sunday, October 12, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The State Board of Accounts no longer is auditing the financial records of Indiana libraries, conservancy districts, some public school accounts, and small towns and townships, its leader says.

The agency doesn’t have enough money or staff to perform those audits, State Examiner Paul Joyce told The Herald Bulletin for a story Sunday (https://bit.ly/1p48Eb0 ). Instead, it will concentrate on local governments with bonding authority or federal grants worth at least $500,000.

“I only have so many people to do a job. It’s not that I don’t want to do them,” Joyce said of the audits. “I have places that have not been reviewed in five years.”

The board of accounts establishes the accounting and financial reporting standards that state agencies and local governments must follow. It also audits the books of state and local agencies, colleges and universities, public schools, hospitals and nonprofits that handle public funds.

Joyce, working with lawmakers and local government associations, will ask the upcoming General Assembly to increase the cost of state audits from $45 per day to $45 per hour. Private certified public accounting firms typically charge $100 to $125 per hour for similar work, he said.

Despite the higher costs, the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns supports the change, said its executive director, Matthew Greller.

“It’s a real issue and a real problem that we need to address,” he said.

Deborah Driskell, executive director of the Indiana Township Association, said higher auditing costs might be a problem for small townships, but State Board of Account audits are important to maintaining public trust.

“This is a matter that needs to be on the governor’s desk,” she said.

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Information from: The Herald Bulletin, https://www.theheraldbulletin.com

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