• COUNTY AUDITOR SHOULD BE A CPA?

  • THE OCCUPATIONS CODE REQUIRES IT?

  • YELLOW BOOK YELLOW BOOK?

 

May 9, 2018

Welcome to What’s Wrong With The Montgomery County Auditor? Part 2.

We’re still trying to figure out what objectively verifiable and measurable problem has two smart people worked up into a lather. They have not given any good reason.

What is behind the agitation? Please let me know.

LICENSED CPA

We have been subjected to a set of dogmatic positions on the county auditor. like “It should be a requirement that the County Auditor is a licensed CPA” yet we are never told why? so it got me thinking about what the most compelling reason are held by top ranking CPAs for pursuing CPA certification. You know its going to be good, I mean we already know how much of a nitpicker the average attorney can be lets go to a “driving force within the accounting profession”, lets see what National Association of State Boards of Accountancy  says are the Top 5 Reasons to be a CPA!

These are sure to be the ultimate justification to demand, DEMAND I say, “It should be a requirement that the County Auditor is a licensed CPA”


Ready?

1. Prestige and Respect

2. Career Development

3. Career Security

4. Job Satisfaction

5. Money and Benefits

Wow, that’s it? I was expecting narratives about advanced insights into financial controls, transaction analysis, forensic investigation and the like.

So, “There are plenty of CPAs who’d be more than happy to do the job”

Right away it makes you think of people  griping because they have a CPA friend with an eye on a cushy government job with retirement benefits who wants in, am I wrong? Think I’m exaggerating? You can read it here for yourself.

I’m not thinking prestige and respect, that’s for sure.

Money and benefits… ahem, it must be great to be a professional.

 

STANDARDS

“The Occupations Code says auditing services must be done by CPAs but there’s an exception for county auditors.”

Well, there is an exception for County Auditors, but the way they say it make it sound like  in a fight between the Occupations code and the statute exempting County Auditors that the Occupations Code rules  and its already been adjudicated by Judge Candidates and Activist Bloggers! Really!

Also that same Judge Candidate and Activist Blogger, whom I respect for their many gifts have disappointed the expectation of sound and consistent constitutional and limited government profiles they adhere to and project.

I think occupational standards work against the objectives of liberty, justice, free markets, but instead of my bumpkin logic lets consult some one with credibility on the subject like TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION.

The TPPF is well respected and influential at all levels of Government, they have clear cut view on Occupational Licensing that is worth everyone taking to heart.

“Supporters of occupational licensing claim they are necessary to safeguard the quality of licensed services, hold practitioners to safety standards, and prevent unethical and dangerous practices. The evidence, however, paints a different picture; licensing laws act more as a form of protectionism for those in licensed professions while blocking access to jobs, stifling job creation, and hindering technological development and access to information.”

Do I need to point out that the legal profession itself is the worst offender in this regard? I am reminded of a case in point in 2012 election day, i was in a group conversation with 3 attorneys when the state rep campaign of Steve Toth came up,

Attorney 1: It looks like Steve Toth is going to win.

Attorney 2: Is he an Attorney?

Attorney 3: No, he a pool cleaner

Attorney 1: Ugghh, it’ll be very difficult in the lege. for a non attorney

Attorney 2 & 3: Yeah.

I don’t agree with occupational barriers to elected office at all, like in Colonial Rhode island when Attorney’s were prohibited from holding public office.

The TPPF position paper explains that The public interest law firm, Institute for Justice, estimates Texas has the nation’s 17th most burdensome licensing laws. They go on to point out the ridiculous peril built into the Occupations code itself.

The protectionist nature of licensing restrictions can be seen in the fact that section 165.151 of the Occupations Code makes it a Class A misdemeanor to violate the rule of a professional licensing board covered under the Occupations Code .
This seems to me a significant justification to avoid a CPA license.  We would expect defenders of liberty to decry the existence of the Texas occupation code and work to have it abolished rather than insist on its enforcement.  Besides, a full array of County officials including County Auditor are subject to removal for incompetence or official misconduct under the Government Code .

YELLOW BOOK YELLOW BOOK

We have read all rants about the County Auditor and the Yellow Book, alternately

the County Auditor has been characterized as not at fault and then again said to have violated Texas law. Well if its a violation write up your Government Code petition for removal from office and put up the bond required and go get em.

But lets not skip parts of the Yellow Book that don’t fit the narrative shall we?

Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards are known as Yellow Book.

Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards have a section labeled Competence. In the absence of any measurable objective facts weighing against the County Auditor ( and I am all in favor of a definitive audit to establish those facts ) all we can deduce from the noise is that persons are questioning the County Auditors competence  based on a NON-CPA and alleged NON-COMPLIANCE with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, however the Yellow Book Chapter 3.71 declares…..

“Competence is derived from a blending of education and experience. Competencies are not necessarily measured by years of auditing experience because such a quantitative measurement may not accurately reflect the kinds of experiences gained by an auditor in any given time period. Maintaining competence through a commitment to learning and development throughout an auditor’s professional life is
an important element for auditors. Competence enables an auditor to make sound professional judgments.”

 

Ongoing comments in the media and on the campaign trail have questioned the qualifications of Montgomery County Auditor Phyllis Martin.

We believe sunlight and open discussion as always beneficial when it comes to government,  participants in that discussion for some reason chose to limit their remarks in a way so as to leave the impression in the mind of the public that the County Auditor perhaps lacks adequate professional credentials to perform her duties or for all we would know listening in, completely lacking in education , training and experience.

The two voices on the subject, Judge Candidate Kristin Bays and Court Appointed Guardianship & Probate Mediator Eric Yollick are both people worthy of great  admiration for their intellect, educational  achievements and record of achievements.

Kristin Bays is an exceptional Speaker/ Presenter who I’ll wager is a force  to be reckoned with as an attorney advocate in the courtroom.We hope Bays transition to the bench will be a positive one.

Eric Yollick has huge genius and unquestionably his activism efforts have triggered significant change and brought major issues in local government , the Sheriffs Office and SJRA into public focus. While Yollick did not achieve his goal of making the courthouse great again we hope he will resume his original campaign to reform that murky institution.

And yes we all agree education is important, although one might disagree as to how it is acquired.

As Bays and Yollick are no Dunce ,neither is Phyllis Martin.

Cries of She’s not a CPA and The County Auditor must be a CPA seem to have become a mantra that no one questions.

The classic Victor Hugo novel THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME depicts the lot of a person being tried in public on baseless accusations. Those accusations were given credibility by the very ones who should demand justice. They worked injustice instead.

I hope that will not be so in this case.

The people need to insist on open and honest dealings at all levels of government.

Stay tuned for What’s Wrong With The Montgomery County Auditor? Part 3. where we will reveal selected contents of the County Auditors Personnel File.

 


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