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Texas Counties Deliver
County Auditor
Alicia R. Whipple                           


Mailing Address
101 E. Sam Rayburn Drive, Suite 303                              
Bonham, Texas 75418

 

Physical Address

200 East 1st Street

Bonham, Texas 75418

Phone: 903.583.7451 
Fax: 903.640.5806

Email Address: awhipple@fanninco.net
 

 

    Sherry Zindars                                                                             Yvonne Geesaman 

                                                                                
   Assistant Auditor                                                         Assistant Auditor - Accounts Payable                   

Email Address: smzindars@fanninco.net            Email Address: ygeesaman@fanninco.net

 

Christy Haggard

 

 

 

 Assistant Auditor - Payroll

Email Address: clhaggard@fanninco.net


The Texas Constitution provides that the District Courts have appellate jurisdiction and general supervisory control over the County Commissioners Court, with such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and therefore, Texas law places the responsibility of the District Judges to appoint the County Auditor to accomplish those supervisory duties.  

The County Auditor maintains the integrity of financial administration of county government by overseeing the county's financial record-keeping and assuring that all expenditures comply with the county budget and the law. The County Auditor has continuous access to all books and financial records of every elected official and conducts detailed reviews of all county operations.

The office of the County Auditor is neither created by nor under the hierarchical control of the administrative body - the Commissioners Court. While the Commissioners Court is the budgeting body in county government, both the County Auditor and the Commissioners Court are required by law, to approve or reject claims for disbursement of county funds.  The integrity of county financial administration is entrusted to a dual control system of "checks and balances."

As with the elected county officials, the County Auditor is a Public Official (as opposed to a public employee) that has ultimate authority over the operations of the office, including the responsibility of all personnel and their daily activities. The Auditor also has authority to determine how to use all resources allocated to the office during the budget process. The County Auditor is appointed for a two year term by the District Judge. 

Texas County Auditor Handbook


 

  •                                                                      Authority

     Oversight Authority-

    1. Meaning watchful and responsible care for , access to records and authority to help insure that they are properly maintained.

    2. Oversight of the books and records of the County is given to the County Auditor.

    3. County Auditor shall see to the strict enforcement of the law governing County finances (Local Government Code 112.006).

    Access Authority -

    1. Continual access to and the ability to examine and investigate the books, accounts and records of any office receiving County funds is given to the County Auditor (LGC 115.001).

    2. The same access is given concerning the records of specialized governmental entities, such as the District Attorney, Juvenile Probation and (LGC 140.003).

    3. The County Auditor has the authority to examine records in criminal cases with regards to the proper collection of fines and court costs (Code of Criminal Procedure 103.11).

    Prescriptive Authority -

    1. The County Auditor shall prescribe the system of accounting for the County (LGC 112.001 and 112.002).

    2. The County Auditor has the authority to prescribe the manner and form for other officials to make monthly and annual reports of collections to the County Auditor (LGC 114.002).

    3. The County Auditor may adopt and enforce regulations that the Auditor considers necessary for the speedy and proper collecting, checking and accounting of the revenues and other fees and funds of the County (LGC 112.001).

    Verification Authority -

    1. The County Auditor shall examine each claim, bill or account against the County and approve each before it may be allowed to be paid (LGC 113.065).

    2. The County Auditor may require an affidavit from a County officer indicating that a claim or bill is correct and valid (LGC 113.064).

     

                                                Responsibilities of the County Auditor

     

    Accounting and Financial Reporting -

    1. The County Auditor specifies the system of accounting for the County as a whole and for individual fee offices.

    2. Responsibility for the chart of accounts and the design of the accounting system rests with the County Auditor.

    3. The County Auditor shall maintain the general ledger of the County throughout the year.

    4. The County Auditor is responsible for the accounting and reporting of grants.

     

     Accounts Payable and Payroll -

    1. Processing of these are optional duties by law (Agan v Titus County, AG Opinion DM-440). These are often processed by the County Auditor to meet the County Auditors duty for verification of financial transactions.

    2. Payables and payroll directly relate to the responsibility to manage the County budget and to verify the correctness and legality of claims against the County before they are processed.

    Budgeting -

    1. The County Auditor is the budget officer in some counties and assist the County Judge in some.

    2. The County Auditor has the authority to estimate revenues from all sources in counties over 125,000 in population.

    3. The County Auditor shall exercise his/her oversight authority to see that only properly budgeted expenditures are approved for payment by the County.

    Auditing -

    1. The goals of the internal audit are (a) to insure the accuracy of accounting and budgeting information; (b) to safeguard the assets of the County; (c) to insure the efficiency of County operations; and (d) to insure compliance with legal requirements regarding the collection and reporting of fees and fines.

    2. The County Auditor shall examine all reports about the collection of money for the County (LGC 115.002).

    3. The County Auditor shall examine the books of County officials for correctness (LGC 115.003).

    Purchasing and Approval of Claims -

    1.The County Auditor may not pay for supplies or materials that have not been properly requisitioned (LGC 113.901).

    2. The County Auditor must co-sign disbursement checks to validate them as proper and budgeted expenditures (LGC 113.043)

     

                                                Challenges to the County Auditor

    Maintaining the independence of the County Auditor - the office of the County Auditor was created to provide independent oversight of the financial transactions of the County. Independence in appointment, budget and staffing is necessary to insure that the functions of the office are carried out in a professional manner.

    Mastering diverse functions such as governmental accounting and financial reporting, internal auditing, grants management, debt issuance and management, budgeting and budgetary control, compliance with purchasing laws, personnel matters, and risk management.

    The personalities and politics of working with elected officials, co-existing while exercising oversight and prescriptive authority.

    Staff recruitment, retention and development in the County government environment.

    "Inherent" conflicts due to the unique nature of the job.

                                          Relationship with the District Judge(s)

    Appointment - the County Auditor is appointed by the District Judge or Judges for a two-year term of office.

    Salary and Budget - the District Judges have authority, within statutory limits, over the salaries of the County Auditor and Assistant County Auditors as well as the budget for the County Auditor's Office.