State auditor’s office offers simple recommendation for financial accountability for the city of Hills


Iowa State Auditor Rob Sand is offering a simple suggestion to increase financial accountability for the city of Hills…and all it takes is an extra signature.

In a report issued earlier this week, the auditor’s office said the city of Hills is, for the most part, operating under proper state financial guidelines. However, the audit notes only one person is responsible for financial areas such as cash on hand, investments, receipts, utilities, disbursements, payroll and debt. The report acknowledges that while it may be difficult for a small town to segregate duties with a small city staff, the city of Hills should still, in the words of the report, “review its control procedures to obtain the maximum internal control possible under the circumstances utilizing currently available staff, including elected officials.”

The key point of contention mentioned in the Hills report is that while city policy calls for two signatures on any check issued by the city, the mayor’s signature is pre-printed on all city checks, making the two-signature rule irrelevant.

Sands recommends each city-issued check be reviewed and signed separately by two different individuals.

The auditor’s office review came at the request of Hills city officials.