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Iowa State Auditor



Iowa's State Auditor is a constitutional officer elected by the people of our state. In February 2024, Senate File 2311 was introduced. This bill would allow state government agencies to bypass the elected State Auditor and instead hire any auditor they want on a no-bid contract with no oversight, unlike any other government auditing in Iowa.

Passing Senate File 2311 would be expensive:

  • This bill will cause taxpayers’ audit costs to skyrocket. CPA firm billing rates average 30-60% higher than AOS billing rates, meaning the State will pay more for the same services. We estimate the cost at $5M a year.

Passing Senate File 2311 would be inefficient:

  • New Mexico is one of the last states that we are aware of that still conducts and reports audits on a department-by-department basis, and is looking to move away from this system. A report from the Michigan Auditor General’s office examined the feasibility of converting from a department-by-department approach to a state-wide approach for its single audit, and found that it would be a vast improvement. It made that switch years ago. Iowa should not move backwards to an inefficient system the rest of the country has left behind.

Passing Senate File 2311 would open the door to increased corruption in the state of Iowa:

  • This bill would provide for no oversight whatsoever of the firms hired to conduct state audits. For local audits in Iowa performed by CPA firms, the State Auditor can always perform a re-audit/special investigation as long as they have a request from an elected official, an employee, or a petition with 100 signatures. In addition, firms conducting local government audits are still subject to oversight by the State Auditor through re-audits and review of CPA workpapers. That also would not apply to state government with this bill.

  • This bill has no bidding requirement, instead allowing agencies to select whomever they prefer no matter the cost to taxpayers.

  • This bill has no protection for whistleblowers. The people who work within these agencies, who know best how money is misused, would be less trusting of their ability to report without fear of retaliation.

But, isn't this bill just providing the same flexibility given to local governments? No, and here's why:

  • Local government audits allow for State Auditor oversight of private CPA firms.

  • Local government audits allow for State Auditor to re-audit or investigate issues missed by private firms at the request of citizens by petition or a request from an employee & or elected official.

  • Local government audits have whistleblower protections. Senate File 2311 does not include these protections for state government audits.

Wasn't the big ACFR report late, denoting a need for a better system? Actually, we issued the ACFR on time this year. It was late before, but here's why:

During FY2018-2022, Iowa's State Auditor was in line with other states' ACFR completion timelines. ACFR delays were a result of retirements and turnover within Iowa's Department of Administrative Services, as noted in letters sent by the Auditor of State's Chief of Staff in 2022 and 2023.

The Auditor of State's office repeatedly warned the administration that the office cannot audit what it has not been provided. The Auditor also proactively reached out to recently retired administration staffers to ask that they come back to help. Had the Auditor not done so and not brought this to the attention of the administration, the report would have been later yet.

Learn more about the Senate Bill, SF2311:

Text of SF2311

Nebraska's State Auditor Wrote a Letter in Opposition to SF2311 after a similar situation arose in Nebraska.

The state of Illinois uses a system similar to that proposed by SF2311. Read this study from the University of Illinois - Chicago, which found that Illinois ranked as one of the top states for government corruption in the nation. In addition, 4 of the last 10 Governors of Illinois have gone to prison. We should not look to their government accountability system as something to copy!


SF478 Information

LSA Nonpartisan Fiscal Note: SF478 Could Impact $12B in Services Annually


Learn more about the Senate Bill, SF478:

Auditor Sand Email to Senators

Text of SF478

Former US Comptroller David Walker Letter

NSAA Bipartisan Coalition Letter

GAO Comments on GAGAS and Federal Requirements

IIA letter:  The Institute of Internal Auditors Expresses Concern With SF 478 in Letter to Legislators

Letter from American Institute of CPAs in Opposition to SF 478

An Attack on Auditor Independence Jeopardizes One State’s Fiscal Future

Regarding the Iowa House of Representatives Proposed Amendment of SF478:

Link to Amendment of SF478

Letter from Former US Comptroller General regarding Iowa House Amendment.

The Institute of Internal Auditors Letter regarding H1177 amendment to SF478

New NSAA Letter




© 2024 State of Iowa Auditor of State. All rights reserved.