Documents designed to assist the King's Remembrancer in one of his principal responsibilities: to secure the payment or discharge of all debts to the Crown.
The original purpose of the states of accounts was as a controlment on the audit process. The states allowed the King's Remembrancer to say whether an accountant had appeared at the Exchequer, and whether he had obtained his discharge, and was used to govern the issue or cessation of process to compel attendance at the Exchequer.
The earliest surviving states note the nature of the account, the appearance of the debtor to render account, the date(s) on which he was to make his account, and the name of the auditor to which he was assigned. They recorded whether he accounted or not, and are annotated with notes of the issue of process to secure compliance or the payment of outstanding supers (amounts for which a person other than the accountant himself was responsible) and debts, and of the cessation of process. More detail was added over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries.
By that time the states were in the process of becoming at first copies of the declared accounts and then abstracts of those accounts, ossified and devoid of any apparent utility. Most states of accounts survive from after 1660. The series is very imperfect and includes some strays from the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's side of the Exchequer.
On the King's Remembrancer's side, the states relate to the accountants for casual revenues: customs, taxes, excise, the hanaper, the mint and the exchange, the post office, the wine license office and similar revenue collecting bodies; also for the great imprest accounts, the spending departments funded primarily by the Exchequer, including the accounts of the treasurers of the navy, and ordnance, and war, victuallers of the navy, the treasurer of the chamber, the great household officers, such as cofferer, wardrobe, revels, and the like, and the paymaster of the works.