FOLEY -- Benton County is among many Minnesota counties who will be looking to save money by hiring private accounting firms when the law allows the move starting in August 2016.

County Administrator Monty Headley says Benton County used private CPA firms from 2006-2011. He says when the State Auditor's Office took the duties back in 2012, it cost the county an additional $12,000 that year.

Headley says while the auditor's office does a fine job, he says they owe it to taxpayers to see if they can get the same services for less money.  He says private CPA firms are held to the accounting standards, peer reviews and exams as the State Auditor's Office.

State Auditor Rebecca Otto opposed the legislation which passed as part of the 2015 legislative session.

The auditor's office will still be allowed to conduct the audits if counties want them to perform the duties. The office will also have the authority to review any audits by private firms.