California State Controller's seal

State Controller’s Functions

As the chief fiscal officer of California, the sixth largest economy in the world, Controller Betty Yee is responsible for accountability and disbursement of the state’s financial resources. Controller Yee also safeguards many types of property until claimed by the rightful owners, independently audits government agencies that spend state funds, and administers the payroll system for state government employees and California State University employees. She serves on 70 boards and commissions with authority ranging from state public land management to crime victim compensation. The Controller is a member of numerous financing authorities, and fiscal and financial oversight entities including the Franchise Tax Board and Board of Equalization. She also serves on the boards of the nation's two largest public pension funds. The Controller is one of eight statewide constitutional officials who are elected every four years in California. (In some states, this government official is called a Comptroller.) The Controller’s Office includes the following divisions:

Executive Office

Provides the policy and operational priorities for the State Controller's Office (SCO). SCO functions are coordinated by the Chief of Staff with support from the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Administrative Officer. Further leadership and policy advice is provided by the Chief Legal Counsel and deputy controllers responsible for legislative affairs, public affairs, external affairs, pension funds/investments, environmental policy, health policy, and taxation policy. The Executive Office also includes Human Resources, Equal Employment Opportunity, and Management Audit and Review Services (internal audits).

Division of Accounting and Reporting

Performs statewide accounting and reporting functions, issuing reports on the financial condition of government entities, and issuing payments to local governments and schools. Accounts for receipts, payments, balances, and bonded indebtedness of all state funds. Reports the financial condition of the state on a monthly and annual basis. Allocates funding to local governments and schools for state-mandated costs and apportionment funding. Monitors the cash flow of the General Fund. Administers and collects the estate, inheritance, and gift taxes. Administers collection of delinquent gasoline tax, truck tax, and insurance tax. Refunds gas tax on motor fuel not used on highways. Manages the Property Tax Postponement Program.

Administration and Disbursements Division

Produces the warrants (checks) and electronic fund transfers from the State Treasury, annually issuing about 49 million payments including state payroll, retirement rolls, Medi-Cal, personal income tax refunds, and payments to vendors. Provides staff support services to SCO including budgeting, accounting, contracting, training, procurement, and facilities management.

Audits Division

Responsible for auditing all funds disbursed by the state and all claims presented for payment to SCO. Performs independent audits of government agencies that spend state funds. Assures the accuracy of local government claims and financial statements submitted to the state and federal government by annually reviewing and revising audit guidelines, reviewing audits performed by independent local auditors under these guidelines, and performing field audits of state and federal programs. Assists and advises local government officials in effective and uniform tax collecting procedures and internal fiscal controls. Audits highway users’ tax funds at local levels, and the allocation and apportionment of local property taxes.

Information Systems Division

Ensures the integrity and security of SCO technology, employees, and facilities. Supports SCO mainframe, public website, and payroll systems with services including application development, desktop support, and project management oversight.

Personnel/Payroll Services Division

Processes payroll and leave accounting for all state civil service and exempt employees, state court, and California State University employees. Provides information required to manage the personnel resources of the state and to properly account for salary and wage expenditures. Provides data to the retirement systems necessary for calculation of employee retirement benefits. Manages the state’s automated travel expense claim system.

Unclaimed Property Division

Safeguards lost and forgotten property turned over to the state (e.g., bank accounts, uncashed checks, insurance benefits, wages, stocks, bonds, and safe deposit box contents) until claimed by the rightful owners. Operates an online search tool and toll-free telephone service, processes claims, and provides written notices to property owners and property holders.