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Third 'audit work paper' bill introduced.

Another bill has been introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives seeking to make audit work papers, memoranda and other related documentation public records.

The proposed legislation would impact independent accounting firms hired to conduct audits of state and local government entities. It would retroactively affect government audits already completed by public accounting firms.

The bill (HB 598) is in response to the media's desire to see all possible documentation related to investment scandals at the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC). This includes statutorily protected audit work papers created by independent public accounting firms in the course of an audit.

Two other bills pending in the legislature, HB 9 and SB 302, would make the work papers public record, though HB 9 would impact only future audits.

If any of the three bills were to pass, they would repeal existing Ohio law that protects work papers used to prepare audits of governmental units. The audits themselves, along with management letters and documents provided to the accounting firm by a public entity, already are public records.

Find out how this legislation impacts you in the Capitol Access section on page 36.

This article ran in the Ohio e-CPA Weekly on June 1.
COPYRIGHT 2006 Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Publication:Catalyst (Dublin, Ohio)
Date:Jul 1, 2006
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