Released: November 17, 2023
Pennsylvania Auditor General Timothy L. DeFoor visited Delaware County Controller Joanne Phillips and her team this past week as part of the Auditor General’s statewide tour of county controllers’ offices designed to share ideas, discuss best practices, and learn how the State and County might better work together in their shared mission to ensure Pennsylvania tax dollars are spent properly.
“The Delaware County Controller’s Office shares Auditor General DeFoor’s mission to strengthen the auditing process through modernization efforts and the adoption of best practices,” said Controller Phillips. “We appreciate his understanding of the work my staff in the Controller’s Office does on a daily basis and his interest in helping controllers’ offices state-wide perform at a high level.”
The Delaware County Controller’s Office, under the direction of Controller Phillips, is responsible for the oversight and processing of thousands of transactions each month and works closely with all County departments on retirement administration, payroll, accounts payable, and accounting. Improving workflows and adopting best practices that align with Auditor General’s Office will help provide immediate benefits to Delaware County residents through quicker, more accurate, and more transparent transactions.
Auditor General DeFoor expressed appreciation for the Delaware County Controller’s Office’s efforts. “My office is focused on serving as the fiscal watchdog for all Pennsylvanians — that starts with the important relationships at the local level, like the one we have with Delaware County,” said Auditor General DeFoor. “Every county controller has the same goal, so by working together we can protect and educate Pennsylvania residents.”
During the visit, Controller Phillips and her team sat down with Auditor General DeFoor and Delaware County Council Chair Dr. Monica Taylor and provided an update of Delaware County’s recent initiatives, highlighted by the creation of a Delaware County internal audit team charged with examining County expenditures to ensure taxpayer money is being spent efficiently and appropriately.
Both Auditor General DeFoor and Controller Phillips found common ground in a proactive approach to professional development within their respective offices and their shared efforts to foster disciplined, high-performing staffs. Auditor General DeFoor noted his office had initiated an Intern to Hire program, allowing college students to gain auditing experience at the state-level with a path to full-time employment in the department.
“County Council is supportive of the Auditor General’s work to transform his office and appreciative of the opportunity provided to Controller Phillips and her team to discuss topics that will help strengthen both offices,” said Council Chair Taylor. “The visit by the Auditor General was a welcome boost to staff and furthers the understanding of the critical role the Controller’s office plays in County government.”
What’s Next for the County Controller’s Office
High priority work includes the evaluation of new technology needed to replace legacy financial software necessary to meet the financial needs of the County, work on the annual financial reporting and Countywide audit, and work necessary to support new programs initiated by County Council.