Auditor Duties & Responsibilities
The office of
the County Auditor was created in 1870 as part of a revamping of
county government. The duties of the office covered
areas that had previously been given to the County Judge in 1851,
in the first Code of Iowa, and then to the Clerk of Court in 1861,
with the formation of the Board of Supervisors. The State Legislature
added the duties of Commissioner of Elections in the early 1970’s.
The County Auditor is an elected position, with a term of four years.
of Public Affairs has labeled the Auditor’s
Office as the “Hub of County Government”. The Auditors
and their staff are always available to help with your questions
and invite you to visit their offices anytime.
The following information has been prepared by the Iowa State Association
of County Auditors for the purpose of acquainting you with the duties
and responsibilities of your County Auditor. No attempt has been
made to cover all the functions of this office. We hope you use this
as a reference and an educational guide for information about the
The Auditor may perform a variety of duties depending on the size
of the county:
with these financial responsibilities, the Auditor’s
Office is considered Budget Central for
all government entities. Schools, Cities, Townships,
Agricultural Extension, County Hospitals, Emergency
Management Agency, E911 Service Board, and County Assessor
file their completed budgets with the Auditor. These
budgets, which include the tax asking for each entity,
are reviewed by the County Auditor and then submitted
to the State Department of Management. After the Board
of Supervisors hold a public hearing on their budget
, the Auditor also files the certified County
Budget with the State Department of Management.
to the Board of Supervisors
Clerk to the Board of Supervisors, the Auditor may perform
a variety of duties depending on the size
of the County. The Auditor may accept petitions, register
complaints, or act on routine business in the absence
of the Board. The Auditor often prepares Board meeting
agendas, notifies the media, attends all Board meetings,
keeps and records Board meeting minutes, and publishes
the proceedings in the official County newspapers. The
Auditor initiates bid notices, solicits proposals for
County contracts for materials and services, and receives
contract proposals. Official papers dealing with Board
of Supervisors’ business are referenced and maintained
by the Auditor. County Ordinances are prepared, published,
recorded, and maintained by the County Auditor.
1972 the County Auditor was given an additional title
of Commissioner of Elections by
the legislature. In addition to federal, state and
county elections, the Commissioner of Elections then
assumed the duties of all city, school, and special
Commissioner prepares and supervises the printing
of ballots and/or programming of voting machines
as well as orders all election supplies. The Commissioner
conducts schools of instructions, according to law,
for all precinct election officials and is responsible
for their employment on election day. The Commissioner
also prepares and monitors the processing of all
absentee ballots in order to aid voters who will
not be voting at the polls on election day.
duties of the Election Commissioner include:
Acting as Receiving Clerk for nomination papers and
public measures to be placed on the ballot.
as Clerk of the County Board of Election Canvassers and Special
the county’s Financial Officer, the Auditor
completes a “State of the County” Financial
Report at the end of each fiscal year, which is a Revenue
vs Expenditure report showing available cash reserves.
Based on this report and budgets for the current year,
the Auditor disburses all county funds. Claims for payment
for all services and materials rendered and charged to
the various county departments are submitted to this
office for payment. The Auditor is responsible for “auditing” all
claims and keeping a complete record of each transaction.
It is the Auditor’s responsibility to make sure
that the departments do not exceed the budget appropriation
approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Registrar of Voters
1975 the Auditor became the County Registrar
of Voters with the implementation of a state-wide
voter registration law. The Auditor is responsible for
maintaining the current records of residents desiring
to vote and purging the records of those no longer eligible
to vote. The Auditor is then able to prepare the necessary
lists of qualified voters for each election.
Auditor tabulates the taxable valuations for each
property owner in the county. After applying
the proper exemptions, homestead and military credits,
roll backs and other adjustments to the assessed valuations
certified by the Assessor’s Office, the Auditor
certifies the “taxable” valuation of the
county to the State. This computation creates the tax
rate from which each taxpayer’s statement is
After the State returns the certified tax
rates for the above-mentioned taxing entities in the
County, the Auditor becomes the County Tax
Accountant and applies these tax rates to the taxable valuation
of each property and then prepares a tax list showing
each taxpayer’s share of the total governmental
tax asking. These figures are then certified to the
County Treasurer’s Office for collection.
of the Courthouse
Auditor is the Custodian of the Courthouse under
the direction of the Board of Supervisors. This responsibility
includes not only general maintenance and repair of
the building, but also issues involving office space,
records storage, and disaster recovery.
of the Election Returns and Records
- As Custodian
of the Election Returns and Records, the
Commissioner certifies the results to the state or
subdivision involved and issues certificates of election
to the proper persons.
policies and surety bonds are filed and maintained
in the Auditor’s Office.
required by the Bureau of Census, Labor,
OSHA, Job Service of Iowa and various other general
reports are prepared by the Auditor’s Office.
of the County Plats
Auditor is the Overseer of the County Plats. All
documents dealing with the transfer of real estate
recorded in the Recorder’s Office are also filed
in the Auditor’s Office. Each document is proofed
for accuracy and the chain of title researched. The
document is then entered into the Transfer Record.
Plat and Transfer Records are maintained showing the
ownership of all parcels of land for taxation purposes.
The Auditor may cause subdivisions to be platted when
necessary and accordingly revises the county plats.
- Payroll & Human
- All the County payroll is computed and distributed
by this office. Related reports such as FICA, IPERS, State and
withholding, insurance, 457 Deferred Compensation plans,
and other deduction reports are filed with the proper entities.
In some counties,
the Auditor also acts as the Human Resources Manager and
handles employee questions dealing with health insurance deductibles
co-payments, COBRA forms, annuity plans, vacation, sick leave,
Family/Medical Leave, military leave, retirement options.
Updating the County’s Personnel Policy and job descriptions
are also a responsibility of this office.
and plans filed in the Auditors office include:
Manure Management Plans, Plan Updates, and Livestock Confinement
Construction Permits are filed in the Auditor’s Office.
- Drainage Records and Assessments are maintained by
the Auditor’s Office.
- Road and Bridge Records are maintained by the Auditor’s