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Iowa State Auditor

About Us


To serve as the Taxpayers' Watchdog. Our work is to help ensure government officials use taxpayer dollars for the intended purposes to benefit the public.

About the Office

The Office of Auditor of State is to benefit all citizens of Iowa by providing audit, review, and other technical services to state and local governments to ensure the effective, economical businesslike conduct of public activities in a prudent, accountable manner to achieve the intended purposes.

The Auditor of State is a constitutional official, elected every four years. The Auditor is required to annually make a complete audit of the books, records and accounts of every department of state government. The State's Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and Single Audit Report are audited by the Auditor of State.


The Auditor of State has responsibility for audits of counties, cities, school districts and other governmental subdivisions and is required to provide guidelines to CPA firms performing such audits. The Auditor of State is also responsible for examinations of cities not required to be audited. All audit and examination reports must be filed with the Auditor of State and are a public record.

The Auditor of State is a statutory member of the State Executive Council, the State Appeal Board, the Iowa Telecommunications and Technology Commission, and the Tobacco Settlement Authority.


The Office of Auditor of State includes three divisions, with the duties and responsibilities summarized as follows:

Administration Division

This division is responsible for general management of the office, which includes fiscal management, data processing, human resource management and audit report printing and distribution.

Financial Audit Division

This division is responsible for performance of annual audits of Iowa's Annual Comprehensive Financial Report and its Single Audit report, all state departments and agencies, as well as audits of counties, cities, school districts, and other governmental subdivisions as requested. This division is responsible for performing city examinations.

This division also reviews audits and examinations of governmental subdivisions performed by CPA firms, performs re-audits, as needed, and provides technical assistance to private citizens, CPA firms, government officials and other governmental agencies.

Performance Investigation Division

This division is responsible for conducting comprehensive performance audits of state agencies and the programs they administer. The division also investigates suspected embezzlements and conducts special studies assigned by the Auditor of State or requested by the legislature.

Auditor of State Rob Sand

Rob Sand is Iowa's 33rd State Auditor. He was elected in 2018 after serving seven years as Iowa's chief public corruption prosecutor in the Iowa Attorney General's Office. There, he led the discovery and prosecution of the largest lottery rigging scheme in American history. He also prosecuted the Iowa Film Office Tax Credit scandal, the only criminal prosecution related to a global Ponzi Scheme, as well as dozens of other financial crimes. He also prosecuted violent crime and nearly two dozen sexually violent predators.

Upon his election, he created a senior leadership team that included a Democrat, Independent, and Republican, with two of the three individuals having made campaign contributions to his opponent's campaign. Since he was sworn in, the Auditor's Office has: added a law enforcement background and perspective to the Office;  created a new public innovation and efficiency (PIE) program that helps government entities save substantial amounts of taxpayer dollars; made it possible for employees to take their jobs with them to small towns and rural areas anywhere in the state; stood up against taxpayers getting stuck footing the bill for sexual harassment by public employees; and taken a state department all the way to the Iowa Supreme Court and won a unanimous decision, in order to receive documents related to the single largest financial deal in state history. This is all in addition to continuing the Office's standard financial audits and investigative reports.

Rob was born and raised in Decorah, Iowa. He found a passion for public service in high school, when he worked for two years to build a
public skate park. He graduated from Decorah High School in 2001. Rob then attended and graduated from Brown University. There, he built  a reputation for being able to work productively with individuals of all political persuasions and was named a Harry S Truman Scholar.

After college, Rob chose to return to Iowa to attend the University of Iowa Law School on a full merit scholarship. He was the first student ever to be both a President of the Iowa Student Bar Association and an Editor-in-Chief of a law journal. He also led a student volunteer effort to commit over 1,000 hours of volunteer labor to cleaning and rebuilding Cedar Rapids after the 2008 floods. Before graduating he was awarded the Hancher-Finkbine Medallion, the University of Iowa’s highest award.

He and his wife Christine live in Des Moines and have two sons.

Key Staff

Deputy Auditor of State Ernest H Ruben, JR., CPA

Mr. Ruben is the Deputy Auditor in charge of the Financial Audit Division of the Auditor’s Office.

He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting. He joined the Office of Auditor of State as an Assistant Auditor in 1993 and is a member of the Iowa Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Government Accountants.

Deputy Auditor of State Jim Cunningham, CPA

Mr. Cunningham is the Deputy Auditor in charge of the Performance Investigation Division of the Auditor’s Office.

He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a graduate of Iowa State University. He joined the Office of Auditor of State as an Assistant Auditor in 1989. His past work experience includes managing investigations, performance engagements, and financial audits. His current responsibilities include supervising and reviewing performance engagements and special investigations and providing technical assistance and training to local government officials and their auditors. He is a member of the Heartland Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

© 2023 State of Iowa Auditor of State. All rights reserved.