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Office of Auditor

The auditor, one of the state’s seven constitutional offices, serves as the general accountant for the State of Arkansas. The auditor oversees the balance sheets of state agencies and disburses funds on behalf of the State, as well as disbursing select federal funds, keeping “all public accounts, books, vouchers, documents, and all papers relating to the contracts of the state and its debts, revenue, and fiscal affairs which are not required by law to be placed in some other office or kept by some other person,” according to the Arkansas Code.

The office of auditor has been in existence since Arkansas was made a territory of the United States in 1819, and very little has changed regarding the auditor’s duties since that time. Act 29 of 1877 made it a duty of the auditor to publish receipts and expenditures of public money, in addition to the biennial report delivered to the governor at the beginning of each term of the Arkansas General Assembly. Act 17 of 1883 required the auditor to report the total amount of warrants (checks) still outstanding as well as the balance unexpended regarding any appropriation. Act 334 of 1953 required that the auditor keep a register of all checks drawn upon state agency funds in his or her office. The auditor is responsible for keeping an account between the state and the state treasurer as well as between the state and the United States. Other duties include directing prosecutions regarding official delinquencies “in relation to the assessment, collection, and payment of the revenue against all persons who by any means become possessed of public money or property and fail to pay over and deliver it and to direct prosecutions against all debtors of the state”; procuring “an abstract and description of all taxable lands within the state”; and annually furnishing “the proper officer in each county in the month of January a descriptive list of all taxable lands in the county not previously furnished.”

The office of the auditor encompasses five divisions: Administration; the Data Processing Division, which physically prints warrants issued by the state; the Warrant Division, which processes said checks; the Accounting Division; and the Unclaimed Property Division. A project of the last division is the annual Great Arkansas Treasure Hunt, initiated by Julia Hughes Jones during her term in office to advertise assets declared abandoned.

AUDITOR NAME

PARTY

BEGAN

ENDED

Elias N. Conway

1836

1841

A. Boileau

May 1841

July 1841

Elias N. Conway

1841

1849

C. C. Danley

1849

1854

William Read Miller

1854

1855

A. S. Huey

1855

1857

William Read Miller

1857

1860

H. C. Lowe

1860

1861

William Read Miller

1861

1864

J. R. Berry

Rep

1864

1866

William Read Miller

Rep (Lib)

1866

1868

J. R. Berry

Rep (Brin)

1868

1873

Stephen Wheeler

Rep (Min)

1873

1874

William Read Miller

Dem

1874

1877

John Crawford

Dem

1877

1883

A. W. Files

Dem

1883

1887

William Read Miller

Dem

1887

1887

W. S. Dunlop

Dem

1887

1893

C. B. Mills

Dem

1893

1897

Clay Sloan

Dem

1897

1901

T. C. Monroe

Dem

1901

1905

Avery E. Moore

Dem

1905

1909

John R. Jobe

Dem

1909

1913

John M. Oathout

Dem

1913

1913

L. L. Coffman

Dem

1913

1915

M. F. Dickinson

1915

1917

Hogan Oliver

Dem

1917

1921

James Guy Tucker

Dem

1921

1925

J. Carrol Cone

Dem

1925

1929

J. Oscar Humphrey

Dem

1929

1935

Charles E. Parker

Dem

1935

1937

J. Oscar Humphrey

Dem

1937

1956

F. Nolan Humphrey

1956

1956

Jimmie “Red” Jones

Dem

1957

1979

Jimmie Lou Fisher

Dem

1979

1981

Julia Hughes Jones

Dem

1981

1995

Gus Wingfield

Dem

1995

2003

Jim Wood

Dem

2003

2011

Charlie Daniels

Dem

2011

2015

Andrea Lea

Rep

2015

 

 

Note: Auditors were appointed by the state legislature until 1864. No party is listed for those appointed, including M. F. Dickenson and F. Nolan Humphrey, to complete terms. Julia Hughes Jones switched to the Republican Party in 1993.

For additional information:
Auditor of State. http://www.arkansas.gov/auditor/ (accessed August 6, 2009).

Historical Report of the Secretary of State. Little Rock: Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office, 2008.

Staff of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture

Last Updated 9/15/2017

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