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The 7 Most Outstanding Comptroller Functions

 One of the main functions of the comptroller is to ensure the legality of financial operations. The comptroller is in charge of auditing the income and expenses of an entity.

The principles of integrity and efficiency are the criteria that are considered in this audit work. This audit is carried out at all levels of the organization to evaluate budgetary and management matters.

In the case of the comptroller's office of a nation, it is in this instance where the public debt is registered and the accounts of public servants are monitored, to detect possible acts of corruption. It is an instance with administrative, functional and financial autonomy.

The Latin American countries that have this figure are Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Chile. It also works in the United Kingdom and the United States, although with a different structure.

Normally, the head of this unit is an accountant, administrator or some profession similar to these.

The main functions of a comptroller

The comptroller is an organization that ensures the proper functioning of all the institutions of a country, in light of the criteria of legality, efficiency and effectiveness. Its ultimate goal: to protect and recover the resources of the State.

Each country assigns more or less functions to its comptroller; but in general, the following are the most important:

1- Audit of accounts

The comptroller defines the methods to be used by those responsible for the funds to render accounts of their management.

Public and private companies, political parties, non-governmental organizations and any entity that may affect national interests is audited.

This process can be described as a compilation of information on the activities of the audited organizations, to evaluate them in the light of current standards.

The comptroller also defines the criteria to be used for said audits, which are generally the following:

Legality and regularity

It must be determined if the management of public funds has been done respecting the legal framework of the nation. Likewise, it must be verified whether this respect for the rules is maintained over time.

Economy, efficiency and effectiveness

This criterion attempts to guide the audit towards verifying how many resources were used on the job.

Seeks to determine if the objective was actually achieved. An attempt is also made to determine if there is a relationship between resources and the objective achieved.


It consists of a review of the degree to which public employees follow the rules of conduct that govern their work as servants of the nation.

Protection of individual rights

In this case, it is evaluated whether the body being audited respects the legal framework related to the respect and promotion of individual rights.

2- Evaluate financial management

In a comptroller's office the focus of attention is on the accounts of those responsible for the treasury. The objective is to reduce and prevent corruption and inefficiency in financial management.

3- Treasury

In a certain sense, the comptroller must also carry out tasks of the treasury, since it must account for the treasure or assets of a State.

The objective will always be to verify that such assets are safeguarded and well used.

4- Tax management

In some nations, the comptroller supervises the tax collection process and its allocation within the national budget.

The comptroller has the right to be formally informed about the fiscal management of public officials, and of any person or entity (public or private) that manages national funds or assets.

Likewise, comptroller professionals can present bills related to fiscal control and the operation of the comptroller general.

5- Accountability to the State

Like any public instance, the comptroller's office is also responsible for rendering accounts of its actions before the State authorities. Must present substantiated reports of the balance of public finances.

Just as it does audits, the comptroller must also be audited periodically and its officials must undergo evaluation.

6- Public debt registry

The accounts of a country include assets and debts, so the comptroller also keeps an account of the accumulated debt.

The objective is to ensure that the country in question finds ways to pay this debt without decapitalizing itself.

Similarly, an attempt is made to support the negotiation of the debt in the most convenient terms for the parties.

7- Criminal and disciplinary investigations

The comptroller carries out investigations that lead to criminal or disciplinary sanctions against those who have incurred in corruption with the patrimonial interests of a country.

During these investigation processes, the comptroller's office has the power to demand the suspension of officials suspected of having committed any wrongdoing, until their innocence is proven.

The State Comptroller also investigates complaints from individuals who have been harmed by actions of public authorities.

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