Duties of the County Auditor

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Transcript Duties of the County Auditor

Duties of the County Auditor
A presentation to County Supervisors at the
2015 ISAC New County Officers School
Janine Sulzner
Jones County Auditor
1994 - present
2010 President - Iowa State Association of County Auditors
Duties of the County Auditor
Iowa Code Chapter 331, Division V, Part 1, outlines the basic “statutory”
duties of County Auditor.
Additional, and more specific, duties of the County Auditor are found
throughout the Code of Iowa.
Most County Auditors assume many additional responsibilities, which may
vary depending on the size of the county, programs offered by a particular
county, and the financial resources available for additional staff.
By Iowa Code, the County Auditor also has the following additional official
Clerk to the Board of Supervisors (unless the Auditor consents to the appointment of another person)
Custodian of the Courthouse (at the direction of the Board)
County Budget Director (unless the Board appoints another official)
County Elections Commissioner
County Registrar of Voters
No, the job of a County Auditor is not
and we don’t hand out awards…
County Auditors know that talking about the budget and
other administrative matters may not be as fascinating,
or as “feel good” as talking about…
….nor nowhere near as close to
your heart as….
….However.. we can’t have all of
those “things” without….
And you can’t access that
without taxes,
and budgets,
and budget amendments!
County Boards of Supervisors use budgets
to manage the “real” needs vs the
“perceived” needs of providing services to
the public,
And to attempt to convince your taxpayers
that you aren’t sending THEIR money…
Oh.. and just another one of those
minor details…..
because the
says we have to!!
It takes someone special…..
who doesn’t care about all the glamour
and fascination, but who DOES care
about all the “details” to help YOU
make those “things” possible!
Clerk to the Board of Supervisors
Records the board’s proceedings (ie. takes and prepares the minutes)
Submits minutes to the newspapers for publication
Maintains historical records of all ordinances
Maintains all books and records required to be kept by the board
Official repository of all official Board documents, contracts, etc.
Preparation and distribution of the board’s agenda.
In many counties, performs the daily administrative duties for the board of
Only with the consent of the Auditor may the board appoint another
person to serve as clerk to the board.
Attorney General opinions regarding content of minutes, publication of
minutes, clerk duties.
County Budget Director
Serves as the county budget director, if the board has
not designated another official :
Compilation, calculation, and monitoring of the county’s
operating budget.
Monthly financial reports to the Board and Department
Year-end financial statements of the county prepared on
both a cash basis and GAAP basis, each submitted to the
Iowa Department of Management as the official financial
statements of the county.
All financial reports and records of a county are
independently audited on an annual basis.
Preparation of the general ledger, in cooperation with the
Treasurer’s Office, for all county and agency funds.
Grant reimbursement administration.
Capital asset tracking and reporting.
*Note: In counties that have a separate finance department these items
may be completed by the separate finance department.
Payroll for all County Employees
The County Auditor’s Office provides payroll administration for all county employees, ie.
preparation of paychecks, calculation of all payroll deductions, including:
• State and federal tax withholdings
• Medicare and social security tax withholding and employer match
• IPERS withholding and employer match
• Health and other insurance
• Deferred compensation, ie. tax deferred annuities
• Garnishments
• Child support deductions
• Voluntary payroll deductions.
And prepares and files all payroll tax reports, including 941’s , W2’s, unemployment, etc.
Accounts Payable For
All County Departments
• Processes all claims for payment of the county’s bills.
• Monitor invoices for math calculation errors,
duplicate payments, sales tax, etc.
• Assures account coding is accurate for financial
• Issues checks or warrants for payment of the county’s
bills (and some agencies as well).
• Preparation of 1099 tax forms for vendors.
• “Auditing” of claims… statutory duty of the Board of
Supervisors – find out what this means in your
Real Estate Records
Serves as Chief Platting Official of the county:
• Transfer title to property, for taxation purposes, in the official
transfer books and plat books.
• Assist attorneys, property owners, and land surveyors with
concerns related to county real estate ownership records.
• Plot subdivision plats and plats of survey into the official
county plat books. Work closely with the GIS department, if
that department is separate from the Auditor’s Office.
• May review all subdivision plats and plats of survey for
compliance with state law and county.
Property Valuation Report
• Preparation of the county’s official property
valuation report which serves as the basis for
calculating the property tax requirements of the
budgets for all taxing jurisdictions in the county)
• Maintenance of all Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
district records, including calculation of the
increment for all TIF taxing districts in the county.
Local Jurisdiction
Budget Review & Certification
• Review and approve property tax requests and
budgets from all taxing jurisdictions in the
Tax List
Preparation of the
county tax list,
levying taxes on all
properties and
utilities in the
The tax list is then certified to
the County Treasurer for
preparation of tax statements.
Tax Cycle
Recorder > Auditor > Assessor > Auditor > Treasurer
Property Sale- deeds
and contracts are
filed in the
Recorder’s Office
Ownership records
are updated
(transfer books, plat
books, tax system
data base) by the
Auditor’s Office.
Value of property is
assessed by the
Assessor’s Office.
Tax Cycle
Recorder > Auditor > Assessor > Auditor > Treasurer
Assessor certifies the
new 100% values of
real estate property
to Auditor by July 1.
IA Dept of Revenue
issues equalization
order in oddnumbered years to
the Auditor.
Assessor may request
alternate plan.
Auditor publishes
order, and alternate
if applicable, in
IA Dept. of Revenue
issues the following
to the Auditor:
Gas & Electric utility
Pipeline and
utility valuations.
Rollback order.
Tax Cycle
Recorder > Auditor > Assessor > Auditor > Treasurer
Auditor applies the
rollback order to
the 100% assessed
values to determine
the taxable values
of all taxable
property in the
Cities (and some
counties) file TIF
ordinances and TIF
debt certificates
with the Auditor by
December 1.
Auditor calculates
the TIF increment
and estimated TIF
revenues, and
prepares TIF reports
to send back to the
Tax Cycle
Recorder > Auditor > Assessor > Auditor > Treasurer
to EVERY entity that
levies property taxes in
your county:
Auditor finishes the
valuation report
and certifies it by
January 1 to:
IA Dept. of
Area Schools
So that they can prepare
their budget for the
upcoming fiscal year.
Tax Cycle
Recorder > Auditor > Assessor > Auditor > Treasurer
Auditor prepares
and certifies the
agland and family
farm credits to the
IA Dept. of Revenue
by April.
Auditor prepares
and submits various
files for the
Business Property
Tax Credit with the
IA Dept of Revenue
March through
Auditor prepares
the tax list levying
taxes on all
properties, utilities,
and commercially
stored grain in the
The Auditor then
certifies the list to
the County
Treasurer for
preparation of tax
Tax Cycle
Recorder > Auditor > Assessor > Auditor > Treasurer
Auditor certifies the tax list to
the County Treasurer for
preparation of tax statements
and for tax collections.
Auditor calculates and submits
the commercial and industrial
rollback replacement claim to the
IA Dept. of ManagementSeptember
Other Statutory Duties
• The Auditor has general custody and control of the courthouse,
> subject to the direction of the Board. 331.502(1)
• The Auditor acts temporarily as the Treasurer or Recorder in vacancy
situations, and as Assessor in a vacancy if there is not chief deputy
Assessor. 331.502(6)
• If there is a vacancy on the Board of Supervisors, the Auditor serves with
the Treasurer and Recorder to make an appointment to fill the vacancy, or
to call for an election. 331.502(7)
• Various duties with regard to persons with mental disabilities, poor
persons, and veterans. 331.502 (10-14)
• Various duties with regard to establishment, alteration, maintenance, and
vacation of roads. 331.502 (21-22)
• Various duties with regard to drainage districts. 331.502 (30)
• The Auditor has the authority to audit (at the county Auditor’s discretion)
the financial conditions and transactions of all county funds and accounts
for compliance with state and federal law. 331.502(41)
Other duties a County Auditor
typically performs:
• County liaison for township officials, city clerks
and administrators, and school business
• Benefits administration, including FMLA, and
workers compensation reporting, for all
county employees, in the absence of a
separate human resources department.
Examples of Other Duties a County
Auditor MAY perform:
• Fiscal agent for various related entities, such as
– Mental health region
– Early Childhood Iowa
– Decategorization
– Various grants
– Solid waste commission
• Passport Application Acceptance Agency.
• County Title VI Coordinator (compliance officer for assuring the
county’s compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964)
• Medicaid or medicare billing for certain county operations.
• Administrator of a county self-funded, or partially self-funded,
health plan.
• Serve on the employer’s labor negotiations team providing
technical assistance (ie. budget and benefit information).
• Others that may be specific to your county.
• Plan and conduct all elections held in the county, including general,
primary, school, city, and special elections.
• Comply with state and federal election regulations.
• Recruit and train temporary precinct election officials (13-680
depending on the number of voting precincts in the county).
• Test and arrange delivery of election equipment for each election.
• Manage thousands (3,000 – 300,000) of voter registration records.
• Public education of voter registration and voting methods.
• Investigate and report possible instances of voter registration fraud.
• Statutorily requires evening and weekend hours.
• Serves on a board to hear and decide objections to candidate
• Determines challenges to voter registration records.
• Serves as clerk of an election contest court.
To effectively perform the required (and acquired)
duties of County Auditor, the following skills,
knowledge bases, and responsibilities are essential:
financial reporting
general business administration
property taxation
real estate
payroll administration
human resources
information technology
elections administration
passport regulations
understanding of federal and
state laws
legal responsibilities
administrative responsibilities
financial management skills
computer skills
customer service
time commitment
organizational skills
personnel management
facilities management
commitment to accuracy and
• active participation in peer
groups and related organizations
Relationships Matter
• Your County Auditor can be your:
- right hand
- a pain in your rear end!
• Remember, we are both ELECTED BY THE CITIZENS of
our county to do a job, and we each have to be
individually accountable to those citizens.
• Sometimes there are conflicts, but at the end of the
day our hope is that we can each respect each others’
opinions, decisions, and autonomous authority, and do
the job we were elected to do.
County Auditors On The Move!!
Some county auditors have become
county supervisors!
Renee McClellan, Hardin Co.
Mick Gamez, Howard Co.
Bev Juhl, Emmet Co.
Betty Ellerhoff, Cedar Co.
Some county auditors have become
state legislators over the years!
• Mary Gaskill, Wapello Co.
• Al Sorenson, Boone Co.
There’s even a county supervisor who
became a county auditor!
• Roxanna Moritz, Scott Co.
Some county auditors have even become state elected officials!
• Mary Mosiman, State Auditor (former Story County Auditor)
• Mike Mauro, Secretary of State 2006-2010 (former Polk County Auditor)
And one County Auditor
has even become a
United States Senator!!!
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst
(former Montgomery County Auditor)