Uniform Chart of Accounts for Texas Counties
The 2001 Texas Legislature, under H.B. 2869 (Appendix A), created the Texas County Financial Data Advisory Committee (FDAC), which was asked to "develop and recommend . . . a voluntary uniform chart of accounts for counties.” Since October 2001, the FDAC has met on a quarterly basis to develop an initial Uniform Chart of Accounts that it recommended to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The Comptroller was directed by H.B. 2869 to adopt this Uniform Chart of Accounts and make it available to Texas’ 254 counties.
While counties are not required to use the Uniform Chart of Accounts, they are encouraged to do so. This first edition of the Uniform Chart of Accounts for counties is a high-level chart of accounts and is intended to serve as a basis for further efforts to streamline the reporting requirements imposed on counties by the state agencies. Use of the Uniform Chart of Accounts will also provide the Legislature with meaningful information on the costs and challenges faced by county governments—particularly the results of unfunded mandates. Finally, it is hoped that the uniformity of data provided by the Uniform Chart of Accounts will give county officials, as well as taxpayers, better data for comparing county performance.
The FDAC is composed of representatives from various county organizations as well as the Comptroller’s office. Membership on the committee includes:
- three members representing the Conference on Urban Counties;
- two members from the Texas Association of Counties;
- two members from the Texas Association of County Auditors;
- two members from the Texas Association of County Treasurers;
- two members from the Association of County Judges and Commissioners of Texas; and
- the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
The FDAC staff includes personnel from the Local Government Assistance section of the Comptroller’s office, the Texas Association of Counties and the Conference on Urban Counties.
After adopting a draft of the Uniform Chart of Accounts, the FDAC published it in the Texas Register and solicited comments (Appendix B). A copy of the proposed initial draft was also mailed to every county auditor, county treasurer, budget officer, purchasing agent, county judge and county commissioner in Texas. Comments were received from 20 counties and one state agency, the Texas Department of Transportation. The FDAC took these comments into consideration in revising the original draft and adopting the Uniform Chart of Accounts presented here.
The FDAC will continue working to add more detail to the chart of accounts and to address reporting requirement issues. While there may be additions made to this chart, the framework is expected to remain as it appears here. Counties are encouraged to begin fashioning their financial reporting within this framework.