The State Auditor of Alabama is constitutionally required to make a full and complete report to the Governor of Alabama showing the receipts and disbursement of every character, all claims audited and paid out, and all taxes and revenues collected and paid into the treasury. The office also makes other reports to the Governor and the Alabama Legislature as required by law. Since 1969, the office has been responsible for maintaining all property records of all non-consumable property of The State of Alabama. Until 1899 the office was responsible for maintaining all land records of the State when at that time that function was transferred to the Alabama Forestry Commission. Audits conducts by the State are administered by a separate Office of Public Examiners.
The State Auditor also serves as a member of The State Board of Adjustment, The State Board of Appointment for Boards of Registars, The State Board of Compromise, The Alabama Education Authority (ex officio), and The Penny Trust Fund.
The State Auditor is an elected post chosen in partisan elections. It is elected in the same cycle as the other Constitutional Officers of the U.S. state of Alabama including Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, and Secretary of State. State law prohibits any individual from being elected to more than two consecutive terms. The office has traditionally been held by women for most of the past sixty years. Nine women have held the post starting with the election of Agnes Baggett in 1954.
The current state auditor is Jim Zeigler who took office on January 19, 2015. He was the first man to be elected to the office in twenty-four years. He previously served one term on the Alabama Public Service Commission (1975–1979). His predecessor as Auditor was Samantha Shaw, a Republican first elected in November 2006 who took office in January 2007. Mrs. Shaw was re-elected in 2010 with 62.6% of the vote, the widest ever margin of victory for a Republican elected as State Auditor. She was not constitutionally eligible to seek a third term and chose to retire from active political office. Her husband, Greg Shaw, is a Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.
Listed below are the State Auditors for the past several terms:
- Jim Zeigler (R) (2015–present)
- Samantha Shaw (R) (2007–2015)
- Beth Chapman (R) (2003–2007)
- Susan Parker (D) (1999–2003)
- Pat Duncan (R) (1995–1999)
- Terry Ellis (D) (1991–1995)
- Jan Cook (D) (1983–1991)
- Bettye Frink (D) (1975–1983)
- Melba Till Allen (D) (1967–1975)
- Bettye Frink (D) (1963–1967)
- Mary Texas Hurt Garner (D) (1959–1963)
- Agnes Baggett (D) (1955–1959)