Born in Jackson County, Oklahoma, farming community. Married 44 years to wife Elaine. Three adult children with six grandchildren, all living in Oklahoma. Prolife Christian conservative, OSU Cowboy. Member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edmond and Knights of
Columbus. Second amendment supporter. Oklahoma State University graduate. Degree in Accounting. Joined Big 4 Accounting Firm, now known as Deloitte, in Tulsa. Became CPA January 1975. Practicing CPA and member of AICPA and OSCPA for 43 years. Moved to Edmond in 1983. CFO for small financial services company for over 18 years. With others, grew company to $2 billion in assets listed on NYSE. Served as CFO, CEO and COO. Oversaw acquisitions and audits of target companies. Also, CFO and part-owner in Healthcare company for eight years. Started CPA services business in 2014. Conduct audits performance and investigative audits for private companies and litigation firms.
Why are you running for this office?:
As a non-politician and an outsider, the last three years watching budget deliberations has been painful as services were cut, people laid off and taxes increased. The taxpayers, Legislature and Governor have been shortchanged. Over the last three years less than .0002 percent of waste and fraud found from the money that has been spent. I am running to give the State Auditor’s Office leadership, provide performance audits and identify and improve efficiencies, effectiveness and services in State and County government thereby creating real reform and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse to free up funding to solve critical needs. It is a leadership job and the office needs new proven leadership from the private sector, not the same status quo from career government employees. I have a proven track record of great leadership breadth and depth to serve others in state government.
What do you think are the top three biggest challenges facing our state?:
Education, common and higher education. We need reform to include raising student test scores in common education and find ways to make higher education more affordable. Reforming our incarceration of prisoners and addressing the old prison facilities that are badly in need of replacement. Establish reliable government budget stabilization fund for economic downturns. We have had three straight years of turmoil due to budget crisis as funding. There will be economic downturns in the future and we must prepare for them.
What are your top five priorities to address while in office?:
First, would be to meet with all of the State Auditor’s Office employees and learn about their skills and abilities and assignments. Review status of all projects, completed and incomplete, and set goals and time lines for each project to be completed within the next twelve months. Meet and greet all Legislators, Governor, cabinet members, all officials of State Government as well as County Governments. Open and reestablish any broken communication lines. Let them know the Office is available to work with them through any auditing process. Give them insights to implement reforms to eliminate inefficiencies and become more effective and treat the money as if they were spending their own. Work to improve transparency and accountability to provide real results with a return to the Legislators, Governor and taxpayers. No surprises and never seeking credit for myself. Be quiet behind the scenes. Be more focused on getting the job done successfully.
When faced with a specific situation that puts your personal viewpoint at odds with a great many of your constituents, what decision do you make and why?:
What I have always done in this situation. I put myself in their position and try to see their viewpoint and have them explain the bases of their viewpoint to make sure I am not missing any key components. My experience tells me that both viewpoints may not be wrong or right. My decision would be to obtain the best outcome and have a consensus between me and my constituents as to the decision made and the course of action we all take.
Charlie Prater, Runoff election - State Auditor and Inspector