May 7, 2018

Montgomery County Auditor Phyllis Martin has been the subject of criticism from  two or  three sources in recent years,  so we are curious, what is wrong with our County Auditor?, what are the measurable defects in her qualifications, experience and more importantly results?.

District Judge Kathleen Hamilton swears in Montgomery County Auditor Phyllis Martin in Courier of Montgomery County photo

Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper like to poke fun using stock images from Al Gore’s interwebs so likewise, Montgomery County’s least trusted  but never the less trustworthy source of news will follow suite by introducing a short clip for your viewing pleasure, the analogies it offers will be explained as we go through this multi-part series What’s Wrong With The Montgomery County Auditor.

The Accusations Against  A Non-CPA

We begin our inquiry with the March 27, 2018 presentation of the County Auditor  before Commissioners court. The presentation to the commissioners walked them through the most recent Consolidated Annual Financial Report (CAFR ) of the County and a new condensed ” Popular” version of the same report for general consumption and finally the Federal & State Single Audit Report.

Competent  & Informative Presentation

The County Auditor at all times showed herself knowledgeable of the content of the presentation, additionally all questions posed by the Commissioners or County Judge were answered without hesitation, competently, informatively and confidently.

I am not sure what others found to gripe about in the presentation which can be reviewed in full below.


 

 

THE GFOA

We should explore one part of the presentation further, that’s where the County Auditor announced that Montgomery County is the recipient for the 33rd year running of the Government Finance officers Association (GFOA ) award of yet another Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting .

I am the first to ridicule awards and trophies that are showered on one government outfit by another. They are often meaningless. In this case I took the time to find out if this is an automatic win for every government organization or not.

 

Here is what I learned from the GFOA certificate data .

The County Auditor claims that Montgomery County has received the certificate for 33 years running.

GFOA data revealed that to be true but what is more interesting is that that is quite an outstanding achievement among Texas Counties.

  • Only 54 of 254 Texas Counties have ever received the certificate.
  • Only Nine Texas Counties have ever received the same amount or more that Montgomery County namely, Bexar, Dewitt, San Patricio, Collin, Bell, Nueces, Dallas, McLellan & Potter Counties.
  • Notable “peer” counties have not done so well like Williamson ( 26) Galveston ( 22) and Hidalgo (22 )

IMPORTANT TAKE AWAY

Apart from the high ranking record of Certificates (33) received by Montgomery County  The unbroken continuity of GFAO awards since Phyllis Martin has been County Auditor indicates there has been a ongoing competent execution of auditor responsibilities and quality of work product since taking over from the previous County Auditor.


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