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Histories:  Trempealeau Co. Historical Accounts:

"History of Trempealeau County Wisconsin, 1917":

Chapter 23:  More Historical Papers

The Risberg County Accounting System

-As transcribed from pages 908 - 909

Paudor K. Risberg, county clerk fo Trempealeau County, has evolved a system of county accounting which is being adopted in many other counties of the Northwest.  When he became county clerk nine years ago, after a long career as an educator, he found that the county accounting system was far from satisfactory.  In the neighborhood of a hundred different officials had at the time the authority to issue orders for money upon the county treasury.  The State registrar of vital statistics, the asylum trustees, the county highway commissioner, the circuit judge, the county judge, clerk of court, district attorney, county clerk, sheriff, county assessor and every justice of the peace in the county were authorized by law to draw orders upon the county treasury; and in addition to this the county treasurer was authorized to pay out all State taxes and all school funds, together with certain fees to town and village treasurers, without any written order from anybody.

The danger of two or more officials issuing orders upon the same funds is very apparent, for the reason that one official does not know what amount of orders the other one has issued, and no one of them known at any given time whether there is sufficient money in the treasury to meet his order.

When the new state highway law of 1911 went into effect the old accounting system was found inadequate, and something had to be done to handle the funds of the county in a more modern and businesslike manner.  Plans were drawn up by Mr. Risberg and submitted in part to committees, a new system being a vital necessity.  In 1915 the work had progressed so far that it was submitted to the county board and was unanimously adopted.

The new system provides that no money shall be paid out of the county treasury except upon a written order signed by the county clerk and countersigned by the county treasurer; a voucher must also be on file in the office of the county clerk for every order issued.  The following records are parts of the system:
  • Clerk's Combined Journal, Cash Book, Order Book and Ledger.
  • Treasurer's Combined Journal, Cash Book, Order Book and Bank Ledger.
  • Clerk's Record of Taxes Levied and Collected.
  • Treasurer's Record of Taxes Levied and Collected.
  • Clerk's Tax Sale and Redemption Record.
  • Treasurer's Tax Sale and Redemption Record.
  • Clerk's Petition Record for Road and Bridge Aid.
  • Clerk's Listing Record of Road and Bridge Orders.
  • Clerk's Listing Record of Asylum Orders.
  • Treasurer's Inheritance and Fines Record.

Under the new system the county clerk has an exact knowledge of all the funds in the county treasury at all times.

These records are prepared by a leading printing house and are in the general market.

Mr. Risberg has also devoted his spare time to systematizing the old records in the clerk's office, so that any document from the first organizaiton of the county is easily to be found, and in addition to this he has compiled many statistics from the records which were in the custody of the clerks before he took office.

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