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.
|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|
|A. W. Files||Dem||1883||1887|
|William Read Miller||Dem||1887||1887|
|W. S. Dunlop||Dem||1887||1893|
|C. B. Mills||Dem||1893||1897|
|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|
|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|
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 March 28, 2022).
Historical Report of the Secretary of State. Little Rock: Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office, 2008.
Staff of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture
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