The State Auditor’s Office (SAO) is the independent auditor for Texas state government. The SAO operates with oversight from the Legislative Audit Committee, a six-member permanent standing committee of the Texas Legislature, jointly chaired by the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.


The SAO is authorized to perform audits, reviews, and investigations of any entity receiving state funds, including state agencies and higher education institutions. Types of audits the SAO performs include financial statement opinion audits, financial audits, compliance audits, economy and efficiency audits, effectiveness audits, and other special audits. The SAO may also issue other types of informational reports not subjected to the same tests and conditions that would be performed in an audit. Investigations are performed whenever there is evidence of fraud or abuse of state resources.


In 1929, the 41st Legislature created the first “State Auditor and Efficiency Expert” position in Texas state government. The position was in the executive branch, and the individual in that position was appointed by the Governor. In 1943, the 48th Legislature passed legislation allowing for the appointment of the “State Auditor” by the legislative branch instead of by the Governor. The law also required that the individual appointed State Auditor be a certified public accountant. In 1987, the 70th Legislature further expanded the authority of the State Auditor and allowed the State Auditor to conduct audits of all agencies, and also specified the types of audits that could be performed.


For more information on the State Auditor’s Office or to view recent audits, visit the State Auditor’s website at http://www.sao.texas.gov.


Larry Phillips of Sherman represents District 62 in the Texas House of Representatives. His telephone number in Sherman is 903-891-7297. His telephone number in Austin is 512-463-0297. His address in Austin is P.O. Box 2910, Austin, TX 78768-2910. His email address is larry.phillips@house.state.tx.us.