Outside Auditor Reports ‘Clean’ FY 2013 Audit for Hays County
New format for financial information offers expanded view of budget
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – Hays County has once again received good news from its external audit company about its finances and its accounting practices, and those interested in reading more about the County’s financial picture will find an expanded, comprehensive view.
In addressing the Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, CPA Pat Wagner with the County’s audit firm of ABIP, PC, noted that the County’s new transmittal letter gave an interesting overview of the County as a whole. She said her audit found the County’s internal controls and segregation of administrative duties to be “very good.” Overall, the audit is unmodified or “clean,” which is the best designation that can be given for an audit, Wagner said. Wagner, who conducts the audit for the Commissioners Court, works primarily with the County Auditor’s Office and County Treasurer’s Office to conduct the audit.
County Auditor Bill Herzog told the Hays County Commissioners Court on Tuesday that staff has spent a tremendous amount of time adding more comprehensive statistical schedules and financial information to the County’s annual financial report in keeping with the County’s transparency goal “and I’m extremely grateful for their hard work and dedication.” The additional work will allow the County to apply for a Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association of the U.S. and Canada for meeting the highest standards of government accounting and financial reporting.
Herzog also told the Court that the State Comptroller of Public Accounts Office has moved Hays County’s financial transparency level from gold to platinum, the highest level possible. “We scored 22 points out of a possible 22 points to achieve the Leadership Circle Platinum Award,” he said.
Among the highlights of the audit are that the County has seven months of operating expenses available for emergencies – standard practice is for 3-4 months while the County’s own policy requires 3-6 months. At the end of FY 2013, the General Fund had a $35 million positive balance, with the County adding $1.956 million to its reserves rather than having to delve into reserves as had been expected. Wagner also noted that the County is invested, per the Public Funds Investment Act, in “safe and liquid” accounts, with the third criteria of “return on investment” not being realized because “no one is getting a good return on anything these days.”
For more information about the County’s budget, visit www.co.hays.tx.us and choose the Financial Transparency logo, or contact Auditor Bill Herzog at 512-393-2283.