The Office of the State Auditor originated from the Office of the State Bank Examiner. Appointed by the Governor with the advice of the South Carolina Bankers' Association, the State Bank Examiner had, in addition to bank examination duties, the responsibility of examining the records of all state and county offices charged with the receipt and disbursement of public funds as well as the records of state, educational, charitable and correctional institutions receiving a state appropriation.
In 1933, the Code of Laws abolished the Office of the State Bank Examiner and provided the appointment of the State Auditor. Duties previously associated with the State Bank Examiner were transferred to the Budget Committee whose membership was comprised of the Governor, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The Budget Committee selected the State Auditor who in turn chose his assistants. The first State Auditor was J. M. Smith, who served until 1965.
With the creation of the State Budget and Control Board in 1950, the Office of the State Auditor, the Budget Commission, State Finance Committee and the Board of Claims were combined into one organization called the Finance Division, whose director was the State Auditor. In 1984, the Finance Division was reorganized by the Budget and Control Board, and the Office of the State Auditor began operating as a separate entity without the budgetary function.
The State Budget and Control Board ceased existence in 2015 when Act 121 created the State Fiscal Accountability Authority (SFAA). The Office of the State Auditor was transferred to and incorporated into SFAA.
SFAA is governed by the Governor, State Treasurer, Comptroller General, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. The State Auditor reports directly to the five governing members of SFAA.