Auditor Klutz proposes office name change

STATEHOUSE – The biannual state budget isn’t the only interesting piece of House Bill (HB) 1001 currently making its way to the Senate Appropriations Committee. HB 1001 also includes proposed language to allow the Auditor of State to be referred to as the “State Comptroller.”

But why? The Auditor of the State has five key responsibilities – balance the state’s checkbook, distribute local government funding, process state payments, develop year-end reporting and pay state employee salaries.

Auditor Tera Klutz

“When our forefathers created the official position of Auditor of State within the Indiana Constitution, they understood the importance of a balanced government,” said Auditor Tera Klutz, CPA. “They created the Treasurer of State to manage the cash and the Auditor of State to issue warrants (checks) and to account and report on state operations. However, the term ‘auditor’ means something entirely different to people two hundred years later.”

A frequent misconception of the office is that its purpose is to audit the State, and local units of government, or individuals – this is not the case. The Indiana State Board of Accounts audits the State and local units of government, and the Indiana Department of Revenue audits individual taxpayers.

“The title change would allow the office to have a more appropriate title that aligns with the services we provide,” said Auditor Klutz, “alongside 19 other states who refer to their state’s chief financial officer as the State Comptroller or Controller.”

HB 1001, authored by State Representative Jeff Thompson (R-Lizton), passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee on February 20, and then passed out of the House Chamber with a 66-29 vote on February 23. The legislation was assigned to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which is chaired by HB1001 Senate sponsor, Senator Ryan Mishler (R-Mishawaka).

If enacted, HB 1001 would allow the Auditor to be referred as State Comptroller upon passage. To clarify, the language as written would not require a constitutional change.

“Our request does not impact the state’s constitution and will not change the functionality of the office,” said Auditor Klutz. “The Auditor’s Office will continue to have the same duties and responsibilities the office has had for more than two hundred years.”