Austin County is currently seeking proposals for financial audit services, below is pertinent information:
AUSTIN COUNTY, TEXAS
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: AC–2022
FINANCIAL AUDIT SERVICES
SECTION I – GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION1.01THE PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT IS TO contract for financial audit services including a single audit for a three (3) year period (2022, 2023, & 2024) with an option to renew for two (2) additional one-year terms at the discretion of the Commissioners Court. It is Austin County’s intent to obtain proposals from and the services of a qualified, certified public accountant with extensive experience in performing financial audit services for County governments.1.02CONTACT: Offerors are cautioned that any oral statement by any representative of the County, modifying or changingany conditions of this RFP, is an expression of opinion only and confers no right upon the offeror.Requests for information regarding matters related to this RFP should be directed to:Billy M. Doherty, Austin County Auditor1 East Main St., Bellville, TX 774181.03 SUBMISSION: Sealed proposals shall be received no later than 12 p.m. Friday, April 7, 2023.MARK ENVELOPE: RFP NO. AC–2022 — FINANCIAL AUDIT SERVICESRETURN PROPOSALS TO:
AUSTIN COUNTY JUDGE1 EAST MAIN ST.
Why a County Would Want Financial Audit Services
A financial audit is an independent examination of an organization’s financial records and procedures to ensure accuracy, completeness, and compliance with accounting standards and laws. For counties, financial audits are essential for several reasons.
First, they help to identify errors or discrepancies in financial records. An audit can uncover mistakes in bookkeeping or accounting, such as double entries, transposition errors, or misappropriation of funds. These errors, if left unchecked, can cause financial harm to the county, leading to financial instability or even bankruptcy.
Second, financial audits help to ensure that a county is operating efficiently and effectively. By examining financial records, auditors can identify areas where the county is spending too much money, where there are opportunities for cost savings, or where there are potential risks to financial stability.
Third, financial audits provide transparency and accountability to the public. Counties are responsible for managing taxpayer dollars, and citizens have a right to know how their money is being spent. A financial audit helps to demonstrate that the county is acting responsibly and ethically with public funds.
Finally, financial audits are often required by law. Federal and state laws may require counties to conduct audits, particularly if they receive certain types of funding or grants. These laws help to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used appropriately and that there is no fraud or waste.
Legally Required Financial Audits in Texas
For counties in Texas, there are several types of legally required financial audits depending on the size and nature of the county government. Here are some examples:
Annual Financial Audit: Texas law requires each county to undergo an annual financial audit by an independent certified public accountant (CPA). This audit must be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and must comply with the requirements of the Texas State Auditor’s Office.
Single Audit: Counties that expend $750,000 or more in federal funds during a fiscal year must undergo a Single Audit. This audit is designed to provide assurance that the county has complied with the applicable federal laws and regulations governing the use of those funds.
Compliance Audit: Counties that receive state grants or loans are required to undergo a compliance audit to ensure that they have complied with the terms and conditions of those grants or loans.
Performance Audit: Texas counties can request a performance audit from the State Auditor’s Office to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations and programs. These audits are not required by law but are conducted at the request of the county government.
Here are some references to the relevant laws in Texas:
Annual Financial Audit: According to Texas Local Government Code, Section 84.004, “The commissioners court shall have the county’s financial statements audited annually by an independent certified public accountant in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.”
Single Audit: The requirements for the Single Audit can be found in the federal Single Audit Act and the related federal regulations, as well as in the Texas Government Code, Section 2102.005.
Compliance Audit: The requirements for compliance audits are outlined in the Texas Government Code, Section 2254.002.
Performance Audit: The State Auditor’s Office conducts performance audits in accordance with Texas Government Code, Section 321.013. However, counties are not required by law to undergo performance audits.
It’s worth noting that there may be additional laws, regulations, and guidance that apply to specific types of audits and to different levels of government in Texas.