BALANCE THE BOOKS
As a practicing CPA and experienced auditor, State Auditor & Inspector Cindy Byrd serves you every day with one mission in mind: to expose and eliminate government waste, fraud, and abuse while bridging relationships and strengthening the agencies and governments that are performing well.
About Cindy Byrd
One of Cindy Byrd’s earliest, and fondest, childhood memories growing up in rural Coalgate, Oklahoma is of her grandmother’s devotion and concern about being able to pay her annual property taxes. She lived through the Great Depression and she knew hard times didn’t keep the tax collector at bay. This memory would take on greater meaning in a few short years.
A graduate of Coalgate High School, Cindy Byrd earned her bachelor's degree in Accounting from East Central University in Ada, working nights at the Wrangler Jeans factory to pay for tuition. She followed that up by becoming a licensed Certified Public Accountant. Her education, degree, and CPA credential would set the course for her life.
Cindy is one of those people who wants to make a difference. Her life has to have purpose. So, she joined the staff of the State Auditor’s County Audit Division and began a more than 20-year career that culminated with her being elected Oklahoma’s first female State Auditor in 2018, achieving the highest vote receiver of any candidate in Oklahoma history to that time.
It was during her first county audit, while sitting in the county treasurer’s office gathering financial information and other documentation for her audit that she saw grandmothers, mothers, wives, and other local residents coming in to pay their property taxes. The memory of her grandmother came flooding back as she was hit with the visual impact of government taking money from its citizens.
The impact was profound and she made it her personal mission to ensure funds taken from her neighbors were properly protected, expenditures were transparent, and government officials were held accountable for spending taxpayer funds.
Her rural roots as the daughter of a rancher father and school teacher mother taught her the importance of hard work, the value of a good education, and the challenge of always making ends meet.
For Cindy, faith, family and freedom are key to living a well-spent life. She draws on each to sustain her and steer her call to public service. Even in the face of tough circumstances, she stands for truth and as a constitutional officer of the state, she is the only statewide officer that answers directly to the people. With her leadership, multiple public officials have been held accountable for misuse of public funds. Cindy Byrd is effective, and her hard work ethic and unflinching advocacy for you helped her to break the glass ceiling and effectively advocate for millions of taxpayers.
She has several loves in her life at which God is the center. Her husband Steve helps to keep her grounded and she absolutely lives for their fishing excursions and time together during very hectic schedules. With her focus on her family and her state, she commutes to her work at the Capitol, ensuring that she remains grounded in her rural roots of Coalgate - constantly reminding her that she answers solely to the people that she serves. She is the guardian of public funds and the watchdog who reports to you how the government spends your tax dollars.
Her mom is her mentor and closest friend, and they can often be seen going to the movies or biking around Coalgate. Her sister and brothers also make sure she remembers her roots.
For Cindy, it is the residents of our state and not its politicians who will write its future. She respects the need to ensure equality of opportunity by making sure the tax dollars taken from our residents provide the services promised whether its inner-city programs or initiatives to bring good-paying jobs to the rural corners of our state.
She’s direct, open, honest, and fair. If she tells you something - take it to the bank because she knows that, unlike politicians, the State Auditor can’t afford to be wrong. Integrity matters and the audit reports which bear her name are just the facts and it’s hard to argue with that. Cindy Byrd audits government and there’s a lot of government to audit!