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"Auditors of the Imprest, 1560 to 1785
The origins of these offices appear to lie in the withdrawal during the reign of Henry VI from the ordinary routine of the Exchequer of certain kinds of account, to be dealt with by more direct methods; and later in the creation of two auditors of the prests and foreign accounts in the Court of Augmentations. These offices were abolished when that court was dissolved in 1554, but letters patent of 19 January 1560 established two auditors of the prests, from which time the declaring of accounts before the Lord Treasurer dates as a regular practice.
The accounts taken by the auditors of the imprest were those of all persons, save the Cofferer of the Household, to whom money was issued by imprest and upon account for the services of crown and public. In addition they took the accounts of an important group of revenue accountants, such as those handling the duties of customs, stamps, postage and salt. In the reign of James I (1603-1625) the audit of the accounts of customs was entrusted jointly to one of the auditors of the imprest and one of the auditors of the land revenue, an arrangement which ended during the Civil War. The auditors of the imprest did not audit the accounts of excise, for which there were statutory auditors outside the Exchequer, or of the colonial customs, which were the province of the Auditor for America."
Imprest="money advanced to a person, esp. for use in government business" Ox-Am Dictionary