Bob Grogan: Candidate profile
City: Downers Grove
Office sought: DuPage County Auditor
Family: Wife, Beth; Children: Ana, Bobby, Evelyn
Education: BA from Miami University (Ohio),Advanced Accounting Certificate from College of DuPage
Civic involvement: Currently: Treasurer of the Hinsdale Central Foundation. Formerly: President of United Way of DuPage Area, Treasurer of Yomechas Indian Guides & Princesses, Treasurer United Way of South DuPage, member of the DuPage Zoning Board of Appeals, member of the DuPage Regional Planning Commission, and Secretary of the Clarendon Blackhawk Mosquito Abatement Board
Elected offices held: DuPage County Auditor
Incumbent? Yes If yes, when were first elected: 2008
Facebook: Bob Grogan, CPA
Questions and Answers
1. Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election for the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you? If so, what?
I am running for re-election because I believe that I continue have the talent and passion to be a effective watchdog for the taxpayer's interests. DuPage has a strong reputation throughout the country and state. I receive calls from officials often asking "How does DuPage do it?" I am motivated to see that reputation maintained and improved. That doesn't happen with complacency, it comes with rooting out problems before they get larger or sometimes even before they occur. Finding things to fix is what gives professional auditors, like myself, a great deal of motivation
2. If you are an incumbent, describe your main contributions. Tell us of any important initiatives you've led. If you are a challenger, what would you bring to the board and what would your priority be?
Since I have been at the county, I have been an innovating leader. I was the first in Illinois to put a county's checkbook online, first to create a transparency portal, and first to create an audit hotline. That record has prompted my peers around the state to elect me to serve as President of the Illinois Association of County Auditors. I have had findings here in DuPage that have resulted in convictions, firings and significant savings. I have also participated in numerous other efforts to reform government, such as work on the dissolution of the Highland Hills Sanitary District or serving on the Illinois Financial Reporting Standards Board.
3. What special qualifications does a county auditor need that may not apply to other county offices? What professional qualifications or experiences do you possess that will help ensure your success as auditor?
It sounds almost too simplistic to state, but the County Auditor needs to be a professional auditor. I am a Licensed CPA and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). Prior to getting elected, I worked in public accounting, preforming audits on governments, pension plans, and non-profits.
4. To what extent must an auditor remain independent of other county offices and officials, and how will you ensure the appropriate level of independence in this office?
Starting in college accounting classes and through the extra annual ethics training that all CPAs are required to take, independence is emphasized. A County Auditor should not be confused with the role of the auditors that preform our annual audit of our financial statements, rather this office acts as the internal auditor. The significance of having an independently elected county auditor is that when you deal with those that you audit, you do so as a peer, someone who has the same mandate from the electorate. I have always, in my tenure here at the county, striven to produce audits that are fair and objective regardless of who or what is being audited. Our office's strong reputation as objective professional auditors, has allowed our county to avoid the turf wars plaguing other counties in Illinois.
5. Describe your position regarding the allocation of resources in the auditor's office. Are personnel allocated as they should be? Are there capital expense or other budgetary items that the office must address, and, if so, how do you propose to address them?
The Auditor's Office has seven full-time employees, including myself. Two of our staff's full-time job is to review for contract, statutory, and policy compliance all accounts payable claims (approximately 44,000 last year) before they are paid. The remaining five are all professional auditors, who completed 96 internal audits last year. My predecessor put in place a policy that all the professional audit staff must have a certification is auditing (CPA, CFE, CIA, CGAP, etc), I have maintained that policy. The audit office budget is over 98% personnel costs. Though from a small basis our non-personnel costs have been reduced significantly under my tenure. There are no capital needs, nor major budgetary changes required at this time.