Archives Guide ~ Auditing Department (2200)

Historical note

The office of Auditor was established by ordinance passed on August 2, 1824. The office of Deputy City Auditor was established by ordinance passed on July 11, 1934. Regular annual reports of receipts and expenditures have been published by the Auditor since 1825. These reports show the annual receipts and expenditures of the City and County, the debt and the public property.

The Auditing Department provides controllership and audit functions for the City and its departments and agencies. The Department implements fiscal controls over departmental spending, prepares detailed departmental expenditure reports, prepares the City’s annual financial statements and conducts on-site internal audits and reviews of departments and agencies.



2200.001 Committee on Accounts proceedings 1824 August 19-1837 December 27 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
The ordinance passed August 2, 1824 establishing the position of Auditor of Accounts also established a joint committee of the City Council as part of a new system of accountability in the expenditures of the City. Includes the proceedings of the meetings of the Committee on Accounts.


2200.002 Bills and payment receipts circa 1822-1882 (Bulk, 1822-1870) 59 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes bills and receipts for services and materials purchased by the City of Boston, circa 1822-1870. The records are generally grouped by department and date and record the materials or services purchased, the cost and a signature or note approving the purchase.


2200.003 Deeds 1803-1968 with gaps 22 record cartons, 6 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Records of deeds of property to the City of Boston. Includes deeds for properties taken or purchased for school, police and fire purposes, laying out and widening streets, and other city departments and functions, 1822-1938. Also, includes index volumes to deeds for the years 1803-1869, 1874-1877, 1887-1929 and 1945-1968.

Link to finding aid


2200.004 Record of deeds to Back Bay lands circa 1843-1869 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
Includes lists of lands sold/given by the Commonwealth, circa 1857-1868; and lands sold by the Boston Water Power Company, circa 1843-1869.


2200.005 Appropriation records circa 1840-1960 with gaps 114 volumes

Scope and Contents note
The Appropriation ledgers document the monthly obligations taken on by each department and how these obligations were paid for, including general drafts, payroll drafts, and special drafts. They also present the initial total amount provided by appropriation for each department as well as any additional amounts obtained through other means (e.g. loans) to meet the year-end total departmental obligations.


2200.006 Debt records circa 1842-1938 21 volumes

Scope and Contents note
The Debt records document all the debt of the City of Boston. This includes the City Debt, the Water Debt, and any additional bonds or notes issued by the City. Also included are records for the City’s Sinking Fund; the Sinking Fund serves as a means by which the City pays down its debt.


2200.007 Journals circa 1822-1965 with gaps 128 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Journals are a daily record of the financial activity of the City of Boston. They record the financial transactions of the City in the order in which they occurred. All entries appear in chronological order; an alphabetical index often appears at the front of each volume.


2200.008 Ledgers circa 1820-1963 with gaps 122 volumes

Scope and Contents note
The Ledgers are a record of the financial activity of the City of Boston by department or account. As opposed to the Journals, which record all activity chronologically, the Ledgers record all transactions by department or account on a monthly or yearly basis.


2200.009 Lists of Officials and Employees 1888, 1905-1966 with gaps 107 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Lists of Officials and Employees include the name, address, designation (job title), compensation, date of election or appointment, and for some years the date first entered the employ of the City or County for all officials and employees of the City of Boston and Suffolk County. Volumes exist for the years 1888 and 1905-1966 excluding 1919 and 1921.


2200.010 Index of discharged city employees 1898-1902 2 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes name, residence, class, date of employment, date of discharge, cause of discharge and discharge number.


2200.011 Opinions of the Corporation Counsel 1858-1942 1 record carton

Scope and Contents note
Legal opinions of the Corporation Counsel provided at the request of the City Auditor.


2200.012 Receipts and Expenditures circa 1836-1954 201 volumes

Scope and Contents note
The Receipts and Expenditures provide a record of all monies coming into and going out from the City of Boston. The Expenditures document all payments made by each department in the City of Boston for a given fiscal year. There are payrolls, various expense journals, department account ledgers, and sub-division reports. The Receipts document all the revenue and income received by the City of Boston through its departments over the course of a fiscal year. Sources of revenue include loans, taxes, fees, and accrued interest among others. Present within the Receipts are abstracts, abstracts of receipts, interest records, betterments, and accounts receivable records. Also included in the Receipts and Expenditures are the balance sheet ledgers; these records document the debt record and credit record (Dr/Cr) for each department for the fiscal year.


2200.013 Suffolk County records circa 1829-1946 81 volumes

Scope and Contents note
The Auditor for the City of Boston also serves as the Auditor of Suffolk County. The Suffolk County auditing records consist of receipts and expenditures, expense journals, account ledgers, payment records, court and county medical examiner financial records, as well as county payroll records.


2200.014 Contracts 1923-1967 54 record cartons

Scope and Contents note
Includes select contracts retained for historical purposes. Includes contracts for school buildings, public works and other significant projects.



2200.015 Contract and lease index 1865-1904 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
Index to contracts, 1865-1895 and leases, 1865-1904. Contracts section lists contractors, object and date completed.

2200.016 Agreements and bonds register 1864-1896 1 volume

Scope and Contents note
Register of agreements and bonds. Lists date, name, street and object.


2200.017 New Suffolk County Courthouse contracts 1886-1893 2 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Two bound volumes of contracts executed for the construction of the new Suffolk County Courthouse at Pemberton Square. Includes contracts, specifications and correspondence.


2200.018 Payroll records circa 1829-1923 50 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Miscellaneous records documenting payroll for various departments. Includes Fire Department, 1829-1868 with gaps; Schools, 1833-1870 with gaps; Police, 1869-1870; Water Works, 1869-1870; Chestnut Hill Reservoir, 1868-1869; Lamps, 1869-1870; Paving, 1869-1870; Health, 1868-1869, Auditing, 1875-1885; Welfare, 1920-1923; and Institutions, 1922-1923.


2200.019 Annual reports 1821-1980 129 volumes

Scope and Contents note
Includes copies of the Auditor's Reports which are annual reports of the receipts and expenditures of the City. Annual reports can also be found in the City Documents series.