UPDATE: Gov. Terry Branstad will pick the next state auditor to fill out the term of David Vaudt, who announced Thursday that he is stepping down next month.
Vaudt, 59, was named chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board beginning on July 1, but the three-term Republican auditor plans to move to Norwalk, Conn., on May 13 to begin work with the board.
Known as GASB, the board is the source of generally accepted accounting principles used by local and state governments. Vaudt will be its fourth chairman, and the Financial Accounting Foundation appointed him to a seven-year term.
During a Thursday morning news conference in his Statehouse office, Vaudt said it was “an incredible opportunity” and one that would be the capstone of his career.
“Born and raised in Iowa, actually graduated from the small high school — Luverne Community High School in north central Iowa — and then attended Upper Iowa University in Fayette,” Vaudt said. “This is kind of one of those ‘small town Iowa boy’ stories that I’ve been able to first land a job with the large, international accounting firm KPMG, then become elected State Auditor and then now the opportunity to serve nationally on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.”
Vaudt is a CPA and worked at KPMG for 25 years before he sought state office.
The auditor’s office conducts financial audits of state government offices and of cities, counties and towns throughout the state.
In recent years, Vaudt’s office pushed for legislation that required more state oversight of small towns after a rash of embezzlements involving small-town elected officials turned up.
He said GASB’s work includes making rules on issues such as how governments should record pension liability.
A statement issued by Branstad’s office said the governor would begin a search for Vaudt’s replacement immediately.
“David Vaudt has been a dedicated public servant for the taxpayers of Iowa, and we will miss his incredible work as steward of our tax dollars," Branstad said. "David embodied the principles of good budgeting, including not spending more than we take in, and avoiding the use of one-time money for ongoing expenses. David was an outstanding state auditor and will be very difficult to replace. I will look for a replacement who shares David Vaudt’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and knowledge of sound budgeting principles.”
According to Iowa Code Chapter 69, when there is a vacancy in the office of auditor, the governor has the duty to fill the office by appointment.