As already stated, the careful auditing of the property ledger is a most important part of the auditor's work. He is not responsible for the actual value of real estate, nor for the validity of the titles thereto, nor is he called upon to give any certificate thereon. He should, however, see that the books show the actual cost of each piece to the concern, and that all certificates required by the rules of the concern, such as appraisers' valuations, attorneys' certificates of title, etc., are in order. He should also see that the accompanying papers of value, such as title policies, abstracts of title, fire insurance policies, etc., have been duly received, or at least that definite responsibility for them rests upon some official.
It is important to see that properties covered by mortgages, especially mortgages receivable, are entered in their proper places. This not only enables those in charge to care for taxes on these properties, but enables the auditor to satisfy himself that, so far as these records show, the mortgages are not duplicated.
The entry of contracts is equally important. If omitted, such assets may be duplicated by inclusion in the Real Estate account as well as in the Contracts account. In other words, when any disposition is made of a piece of property, whether by cash sale, time sale, exchange, option, or any other method, that property should immediately be taken out of the property ledger.