Description of Office
The county auditor maintains the integrity of financial administration of county government.
The county auditor is appointed by the district judges. The county auditor's primary duty is to oversee financial record-keeping for the county and to assure that all expenditures comply with the county budget. The county auditor, by law, has continuous access to all books and financial records and conducts detailed reviews of all county financial operations.
The office of county auditor is neither created by nor under the hierarchical control of the administrative body - the commissioners court. While commissioners court is the budgeting body in county government, both the county auditor and 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."
The power and responsibilities of the county auditor reach into every corner of the courthouse, including district officers, and virtually every other officer, including the commissioners court. The county auditor has financial oversight for all county offices and officers and may prescribe the accounting procedures for all county officers, controls including the district clerk and district attorney. The county auditor has responsibility to establish internal controls and may disapprove the payment of claims against the county. Commissioners court may not pay a claim without the county auditor’s approval and the county auditor must countersign all checks, other than checks to jurors.
Unlike the county judge or the commissioners, the county auditor may request an Attorney General’s opinion, and utilize that opinion to encourage other county officials to comply with the determinations of the Attorney General.
A county auditor not only provides oversight for the public but will also assist in ensuring that Texas counties are able to meet the increasing demands of fiscal accountability in the future.