About Elaine Howle

Elaine M. Howle, CPA, California State Auditor

Picture of State Auditor

For over 20 years, California State Auditor Elaine M. Howle has served the State of California by providing accurate, unbiased, and timely assessments of state and local government entities. Ms. Howle has nearly 36 years of auditing, management, and leadership experience with the California State Auditor's office and its predecessor office. Under her leadership, 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.

A trusted voice, Ms. Howle is frequently called upon to provide testimony in legislative hearings and brief members on the results of her office's work. 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, her office audits and reports on state and local goverment agencies that it has identified as being at high risk for waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement or that have major challenges related to efficiency or effectiveness.

Recognized nationally as a leader in her profession, Ms. Howle has received various awards including the National State Auditors Association's William R. Snodgrass Distinguished Leadership Award (2016)—an annual award presented to an individual who demonstrates sustained outstanding leadership and contributions to state government auditing. Additionally, the Institute of Internal Auditors' American Center for Government Auditing honored Ms. Howle as among 2014's 15 Most Influential Professionals in Government Auditing and she was also named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine in November 2012. Further, Ms. Howle received the national David M. Walker Excellence in Government Performance and Accountability Award in June 2012. She is currently the treasurer for the National State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers and serves on the Federal Government Accountability Office, Domestic Accountability Working Group. Additionally, she previously served as the president of the National State Auditors Association in 2013 after having served on the executive committee for 5 years. Further, in 2003 she was asked by the U.S. Comptroller General to serve on his Domestic Accountability Working Group—on which she currently serves. She is also member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Association of Government Accountants.

Ms. Howle is a certified public accountant and a certified government financial manager. She earned a bachelor's degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts and a master's of business administration from California State University, Sacramento.