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By Program 2017-18 Recommended Change from 2016-17 Adopted
Administration & Support
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Mission Statement

To ensure the financial integrity of the County of Santa Barbara by providing superior financial services, maintaining the public trust, and promoting governmental efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability.

About the Department

The Department is the leading financial information resource of the County and its long-term vision includes a well-run, financially sound County, an informed public, and a model County Department with a knowledgeable and effective staff.  Governed by the overriding principles of fiscal integrity, objectivity, customer service, and continuous improvement, the Auditor-Controller’s (A-C) Department:


Maintains accounts and records of the financial transactions for all departments and agencies whose funds are kept in the County Treasury in accordance with California Statutes and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).

Provides reports and systems necessary to manage the County’s financial operations utilizing modern financial applications as part of the Controller function.

Levies, apportions, and distributes property taxes to the County, Schools, Cities, Special Districts, and Redevelopment Successor Agencies as part of the Auditor function.

Furnishes customer focused financial decision support to the Board of Supervisors, the County Executive Officer, and Department Directors to advance the strategic goals and principles of the organization.

Provides independent, objective, and cost-effective audit services.

Performs advanced and specialty accounting services to Departments, Schools, and Special Districts.

Recommended Changes and Operational Impact



There is a -1.25 FTE decrease from 2016-17 Adopted to 2017-18 recommended.  Due to the projected fiscal imbalances in the upcoming years, the Department unfunded 2 positions (1.25 FTE) as a Service Level Reduction to make up the shortfall.

The Department has a current projected staff of 49.0 FTE for FY 2017-18. The Department has centralized operations in Santa Barbara and one satellite office in Santa Maria. 


As a result of the economic downturn, the Auditor-Controller has dropped its budgeted staffing level over the last nine years from 57.9 FTE in FY 2007-08 to a recommended staffing level of 49.0 FTE in FY 2017-18.  During the economic recession for a period of nine years, the Department held positions vacant, returned funds to the General Fund at year end, and reduced or maintained positions to offset increases in salary, retirement, and benefit costs.  This resulted in the reduction of 8.9 FTEs or a 15% decrease in positions since FY 2007-08.

Although not included in the recommended or proposed budget, for optimal long-term staffing, the office requires at least 52.0 FTEs which includes the restoration of the following positions:


Financial Accounting Analyst for the Advanced and Specialty Accounting Division.

Financial Systems Analyst for the Application Development and Systems Division.

Accountant-Auditor for administration of the consolidated successor agency oversight board.



Net operating expenditure decrease of -$72,000 due to:

o-$85,000 decrease in Salaries and Employee Benefits due the elimination of funding for 1.25 FTE and a decrease in Unemployment Insurance Contribution;

o+$27,000 increase in Services and Supplies is primarily due to increases in Professional and Special Services and Transportation and Travel;

o-$14,000 decrease in Other Charges primarily due to decreases in Electricity and Motor Pool Charges.


These changes result in recommended operating expenditures of $8,929,000, non-operating expenditures of $15,000 and total expenditures of $8,944,000. Non-operating expenditures are for capital assets.



Net operating revenue decrease of -$25,000 primarily due to:

o+$6,000 increase in Intergovernmental Revenue – State due to increase in 2011 Local Realignment.

o-$31,000 decrease in Charges for Services due to a decrease in parcel tax collection fee on terminated special assessments.

Net non-operating revenue decrease of -$47,000 primarily due to:

o+$41,000 increase in the use of A-C Automation Committed Fund Balance;

o-$88,000 decrease in General Fund Contribution for Salary and Employee Benefit increases.


Although not reflected in the Auditor-Controller department budget, cost allocation for Auditor services, recorded as General Revenues (a policy change in FY 2011-12), will contribute $3,206,000 in FY 2017-18.  This represents A-C cost reimbursement from Federal and State programs and equates to 36% of the total A-C budget.


These changes result in recommended operating revenues of $985,410, non-operating revenues of $7,958,590 and total revenues of $8,944,000. Non-operating revenues primarily include General Fund Contribution and decreases to fund balances.

Proposed Changes and Operational Impact


The FY 2018-19 proposed expenditures reflect a $359,000 increase over the FY 2017-18 recommended budget that is primarily the result of:


+$347,000 increase in salaries, retirement contributions and other benefits;

+$12,000 increase in Other Charges for Utilities costs.

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