Ambulance service in Ohio deemed "unauditable"

Officials said "loose record-keeping" and missing paperwork prevented the completion of a recent audit


Lynanne Vucovich
Norwalk Reflector, Ohio

NEW LONDON, Ohio — A local ambulance service was unable to complete a recent audit due to poor record-keeping.

Dan Bailey, coordinator of Firelands Ambulance Service, said the accounts were “unauditable because of loose record-keeping” and they did not have all of the paperwork.

“We did have a couple of checks that were stolen, which was a part of the audit,” Bailey said. “The postal inspector was involved to see if it was a postal employee or a vendor employee.”

Firelands is advertising for a fiscal officer position, starting Jan. 1 to prevent this in the future and Bailey said they are “not in financial problems.”

A second audit is being conducted now and Bailey expects it to be completed before the end of the year.

“Everything’s going great,” Bailey said.

The ambulance service covers the areas of the New London village and township, Fitchville Township, Troy Township and Ruggles Township.

The service is funded by two 1-mill levies and accounts receivable (payments for service).

Keith Faber, Ohio’s auditor of state, declared Firelands Ambulance Service “unauditable” in September after state auditors determined the condition of their financial records were not adequate to complete the audit.

“It is the responsibility of any recipient of taxpayer dollars to accurately track and record their finances,” Faber said in a prepared statement.

“I recommend that officials work with our Local Government Services team to restore records to an auditable status,” Faber said.

Factors that contributed to the Auditor’s Office declaring the ambulance service “unauditable” were:

• A lack of support for an adjusting factor of $204,035 for “payroll conversion” noted on the Dec. 31, 2018 bank reconciliation;

• No accurate outstanding checklist on Dec. 31, 2018, despite several checks issued in December 2018 that did not clear the bank;

• The ambulance service has two bank accounts, but only reported one account in December 2018;

• Missing month-end bank reconciliations for 2018;

• Reconciliations for 2017 could not be located.

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©2019 the Norwalk Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio)

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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