San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Statement issued by Hay County spokesperson Laureen Chernow:

The Hays County Commissioners Court Tuesday learned from the certified public accounting firm of Holtman, Wagner & Co. LLP that an audit of its fiscal year 2011 financial statements and practices showed the County was in compliance with standard financial practices and that its controls to prevent fraud were “very good.”

The auditing firm also noted that while it is generally considered standard practice to keep a minimum of three months of operating expenses available for emergencies, Hays County actually has six months available, almost $31 million.

“Most governments would envy that,” Pat Wagner, one of the firm’s named partners and a CPA, told the Court.

The accounting firm issued an “unqualified” audit opinion, which is the best opinion an audit firm can offer on financial statements.

“The audit represents a report card of the county’s financial practices as well as the financial condition of the county,” said County Auditor Bill Herzog. “Even during times of economic challenges our Commissioners Court has demonstrated its ability to adapt to those conditions while maintaining services to our citizens without sacrificing the strength of our financial condition.”

Herzog continued, “We continue to take care of the problems associated with a high-growth county while maintaining an acceptable tax rate and a strong bond rating. This audit is verification of the county government’s dedication to following sound financial policies.”

Herzog is appointed by state district judges to ensure there is a check on the financial operation of other county offices as well as to perform financial and budget responsibilities.

Hays County is audited each year to ensure that its accounting practices meet expectations and that its financial statements present fairly the financial position of the county in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S.

Ms. Wagner also noted that she received complete cooperation from the auditor’s office, tax assessor-collector’s office and treasurer’s office, where the audit was conducted.

To review the audit, go to and click on Auditor’s Office under the Government tab or contact the Auditor’s Office at 512-393-2283.

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