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Elyria Schools Treasurer's Office Receives Top Finance Award

The Office of Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost this week awarded the Elyria City School District a top award for its outstanding performance in financial reporting.


The “Ohio Auditor of State Award with Distinction” was presented to Elyria Schools Treasurer Joy Clickenger at the Elyria Schools Board of Education meeting Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the administrative offices on Griswold Road. In the realm of public finance, the award is considered the “gold standard” in financial reporting.


“This is a real feather in your cap,” Lyndsay Kuhn, north-central region representative for the Ohio Auditor of State’s office, told Clickenger and Elyria Schools Board of Education members at the meeting. “You all work together in concert and we certainly appreciate the fact that you are such excellent stewards of taxpayer dollars.”


Said Kuhn: “This is the top accomplishment that you can receive from our office.” Yost and his team audit about 5,900 government entities across the Buckeye State, but few qualify to receive an award—let alone a distinction award, according to Kuhn.


“What you are receiving is the distinction award, which is what my boss likes to say is the ‘gold standard’ out of reporting,” Kuhn said.  


Clickenger said the Elyria Schools Treasurer’s office has typically received an “excellence in reporting” award, but this new recognition—unquestionably a step up in achievement—is an indication of the collaborative effort among employees in her department. 


“This particular award is based on everybody pulling together and getting everyone to do everything the way you need it done,” Clickenger said. “We don’t necessarily make friends every day, but we do keep our thumbs on as much as we can—and that’s what made this possible.”


Kuhn said the Ohio Auditor’s office does not follow a “gotcha” mindset when auditing data from public entities, but they do want to make sure that all the numbers reconcile—“to make sure all your t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted.”


“There’s just so much more involved in having a clean audit,” Kuhn said.


Much like public education, the public finance world changes from day to day—and those versed in its rules and regulations must keep close pace.


“This is truly an accomplishment,” Kuhn told the Elyria Schools Board. “You have an excellent finance team and, of course, your treasurer, they are experts in their field and they are working every day to be excellent stewards of taxpayer dollars—and that’s really what it comes down to.”


Clickenger has served as Elyria Schools Treasurer since February 2016.  Photo here.