The Missouri State Auditor is elected by the people of Missouri. The State Auditor's Office has approximately 115 employees. All audit management staff are CPAs, and approximately 65 percent of all audit staff have at least one professional license, certification or advanced degree. Employment as an auditor with the State Auditor's Office qualifies as mandatory experience required for licensure by the Missouri State Board of Accountancy as a certified public accountant.
The State Auditor's Office is Missouri's independent watchdog agency. ArticleIV, Section 13 of the Missouri Constitution describes the duties and responsibilities of the State Auditor. The State Auditor’s Office works to ensure the proper use of public funds and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Missouri government by performing audits of state agencies, boards and commissions, the circuit court system, the counties in Missouri that do not have a county auditor, and other political subdivisions upon petition by the voters. These audits examine financial accountability, waste, opportunities for fraud, and whether government organizations and programs are achieving their purposes and operating economically and efficiently. All audits are performed in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States.
The Auditor also provides an annual audit of the state’s comprehensive financial report, federal grant programs administered by the state, and the State Treasurer. Additionally, the office reviews and registers general obligation bond issues of the state’s political subdivisions, prepares fiscal notes for ballot initiatives, performs an Annual Forfeiture Report, and reviews property tax rates proposed by political subdivisions. The State Auditor also serves as a member of the State Records Commission, is and ex officio member of the Joint Committee on Transportation Oversight, and is fifth in the Gubernatorial line of succession.
According to state law, Section 29.005(2), RSMo, all audits conducted by the State Auditor shall conform to auditing standards established by the Comptroller General of the United States Government Auditing Standards, known as the "Yellow Book". Section 3.82 of the Yellow Book states, "Each audit organization performing audits in accordance with GAGAS must have an external peer review performed by reviewers independent of the audit organization being reviewed at least once every 3 years." Section 3.96 states, "The audit organization should obtain an external peer review at least once every 3 years that is sufficient in scope to provide a reasonable basis for determining whether, for the period under review, the reviewed audit organization’s system of quality control was suitably designed and whether the audit organization is complying with its quality control system in order to provide the audit organization with reasonable assurance of conforming with applicable professional standards."
The State Auditor's office complies with this requirement by participating in the National State Auditor's Association External Peer Review Program which is administered by the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers.
An external peer review is an important element in the performance of quality audits. External peer reviews provide a unique opportunity for the maintenance and improvement of the quality of audit work performed as well as the confidence of the general public in the auditing profession. An external peer review enables the State Auditor's office to obtain an independent assessment of whether or not its system of quality control is adequate to ensure compliance with Government Auditing Standards.
The State Auditor's office's most recent peer review was conducted in November 2020. This review covered quality control processes in place between Sept. 1, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2020. The review team gave a peer review rating of pass in its report, which is the highest level of assurance that an external peer review team can issue.