What is a County Auditor?
The County Auditor plays the vital role of Fiscal Officer of the County with oversight responsibility of all financial books and records of all county offices.
Why have a County Auditor?
County government was created in the Constitution of 1876, and subsequently, it was determined that county government needed a system of checks and balances so as to ensure no one branch of government would be without accountability in complying with the State’s statutes.
In response to addressing a need of checks and balances, the position County Auditor emerged years later in 1905.
There are many reasons to have a County Auditor, but the main one is to maintain the integrity of financial administration in county government.
The County Auditor, by law, has oversight of all financial books and records of all officers of the County and is charged with administering the budget. Commissioners Court, by law, is the governing and administrative body in county government. Among the many duties of Commissioners Court is the power to determine the county budget and make appropriations of funds to meet that budget.
Both the County Auditor and Commissioners Court are required, by law, to approve or reject claims for disbursement of county funds. Simply put, the integrity of county financial administration is entrusted to a dual control system of “checks and balances.”
This system works, not just because there is a County Auditor and not just because there is a Commissioners Court; it works because neither has creative or authoritative control over the other.
In counties having a population over 10,200, appointment of the County Auditor is vested in the majority of State District Judges of that particular County for a two-year period pursuant to Local Government Code, Section 84.002.
A County Auditor is:
?? A person of unquestionably good moral character and intelligence
?? Thoroughly competent in the administration of public business
?? A competent accountant, qualified in auditing and accounting
?? Skilled in interpersonal relationships and office management
Duties (Varies by County)
?? Prepares and administers accounting records for all county funds
?? Audits the records and accounts of the various county departments
?? Administers the county budget as approved by the Commissioners Court
?? Forecasts financial data for budgetary formulation purposes
?? Other delegated duties:
o Budget Officer
o Investment Officer
o Human Resources
o Information technology officer
The County Auditor….
?? Has a general oversight of all books and records of all County Officials
?? Is charged with strictly enforcing laws governing county finances
?? Advises Commissioners Court concerning financial conditions and the County’s financial position as it relates and affects the Court in the decision-making process