WNC Citizens Blog

NC Auditor Releases 2008 Progress report


ZEBULON, N.C. – State Auditor Les Merritt today released a Progress Report summarizing the reforms implemented since he took office in January 2005. Merritt, a former small business owner who is seeking re-election in 2008, is the first Certified Public Accountant (CPA) to serve as State Auditor of North Carolina. The Progress Report can be viewed by clicking here.

“When I took office three years ago, I found a number of things in disarray: there was a huge backlog of unfinished investigative audits; many state-funded non-profits were not filing the required reports; there was no program in place to train state-funded non-profits on compliance requirements,” says Merritt. “The office had a lot of good, hard-working people; it just needed new leadership. I am pleased to report that we have made tremendous progress on many fronts.”

Some highlights from State Auditor Les Merritt’s Progress Report include:


Reduced a backlog of investigative audits by 76%;

Dramatically increased the number of state-funded non-profits filing the required reports;

Launched a new initiative to train personnel from funding agencies and state-funded non-profits;

Dramatically reduced the processing time for non-profit reports;

Developed a new, innovative “strategic auditing” process to help identify unusual trends and potential problems in state spending; and

Increased emphasis on performance audits.

“While we have accomplished a great deal in three short years, there is still much work to be done,” says Merritt. “We’ve been willing to challenge the status quo and fight to change the way state government does business – and this has stepped on some toes in Raleigh. That’s why many of the politicians who have ruled the roost for so long will work to derail our reform efforts during the upcoming election. We’ve accomplished a lot – and our state simply cannot afford to go back to the old way of doing things.”

Leslie W. (Les) Merritt, Jr. was elected State Auditor of North Carolina in 2004, becoming the first Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in North Carolina to hold the office. Prior to being elected, he owned and operated a small business for over twenty years. Les’ experience as a small business owner taught him the importance of conserving and effectively utilizing resources. Les Merritt was elected to the Wake County Board of Commissioners in 1994. During his time as a County Commissioner he developed a reputation as a voice of fiscal responsibility, fighting to set priorities and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of county government. Les Merritt is a former PTA president who served as president of his local Rotary and Lions clubs. Les and his wife, Cheryl, live in Zebulon and are members of Zebulon Baptist Church. They have two adult children. For more information about State Auditor Les Merritt, please visit www.auditormerritt.com.


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