Denver’s independently elected financial watchdog is getting some recognition this week from industry professionals.
Auditor Timothy O’Brien was awarded the national 2017 Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Award for local government. The award, presented by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), recognized O’Brien for his efficiency, effectiveness and innovative services as a certified public accountant.
“I’m humbled by this recognition from CPAs throughout the nation,” O’Brien said after receiving the award from the AICPA, which is the world’s largest member association representing the profession. “I see this award as a tribute to the excellence of my entire office.”
AICPA Chair Kimberly Ellison-Taylor said O’Brien’s “energy, talent and integrity” are essential in the government of today.
O’Brien boasts 40 years of audit experience, including serving 11 years as Colorado state auditor before being elected as Denver auditor in 2015. Upon being elected, he was one of the first professional auditors in decades to take the helm in the Denver Auditor’s Office.
“Auditor O’Brien comes with a point of view solidly based in doing what’s best,” said Mary Medley, CEO of the Colorado Society of CPAs. “Not only has he met and exceeded the Outstanding CPA in Government Impact Award criteria, but also he continues to serve at the highest professional level.”
The Denver Auditor’s Office serves as a check and balance on city government, conducting internal audits and enforcing the city’s prevailing wage.
Most recently, the auditor’s office discovered that sensitive data — including social security numbers collected on Denver residents through the city’s 311 help line — was visible to unauthorized eyes. The office also recovered some $241,000 in back pay owed to dozens of city contract workers.