Elaine M. Howle is California's independent State Auditor who serves the State of California by providing accurate, unbiased, and timely assessments of financial and operation aspects of state and local government entities. Ms. Howle has more than 20 years of auditing, management, and leadership experience with the California State Auditor's Office and its predecessor office, the Office of the Auditor General. She began her career in state government in 1983, joining the Office of the Auditor General, the predecessor agency to the California State Auditor's Office, as an entry-level auditor conducting performance audits on a variety of state and local governments. She was promoted to a supervising auditor in 1987 and a principal auditor in 1994. Ms. Howle became deputy state auditor in 1999 before being appointed California's first female state auditor in 2000.
As the California State Auditor, Ms. Howle oversees the operations of the nonpartisan California State Auditor's Office made up of a diverse staff of talented professionals. The work from her office serves an important role in the State's system of checks and balances by examining the fiscal health and performance of state and local entities to ensure that government provides the essential services to the public in the most efficient and effective manner. Her performance audits provide information to improve public accountability and facilitate decision making by parties with responsibility for overseeing or initiating corrective action. Her office conducts the annual financial audit of California's large, complex financial system and provides an opinion on the financial statements. Ms. Howle's office also audits annually the State's compliance with federal regulations governing the administration of billions of dollars in federal funds California receives each year. Moreover, her office investigates allegations received and reports substantiated claims of fraud and abuse in state government. Further, legislation authorizes her office to identify, audit, and report on state agencies that are identified as being at high risk for waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement, or that have major challenges related to efficiency or effectiveness.
Ms. Howle has a strong national presence and is actively involved in various national organizations devoted to government accounting. Ms. Howle is a certified public accountant and a certified government financial manager. She is the current president of the National State Auditors Association (NSAA) and serves on the Performance Audit Committee, Single Audit Committee, Human Resources Committee, and Auditor Training Committee of the NSAA. She is a member of the Government Accountability Office, Domestic Accountability Working Group. Ms. Howle is also a member of the executive committee of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers, and Treasurers; as well as a member of the Association of Government Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Legislative Program Evaluation Society.
Ms. Howle has a bachelor's degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts and a master's of business administration from California State University, Sacramento.