(ALGA Repost) Opportunities for Improvement: We Need to Talk

“The Yellow Book addresses communication of audit scope and objective at the beginning of the audit, and audit results at the end, but much communication happens, or should, during the audit.

8.23 Determining the form, content, and frequency of the communication with management or those charged with governance is a matter of professional judgment, although written communication is preferred. Auditors may use an engagement letter to communicate key information early in the engagement.

“Written communication is preferred”? Of course an engagement letter and discussion draft are written, and at the federal level, written is probably preferred, but the federal government is astronomically larger than any local audit office, like Jupiter is to Earth. Working under the general assumption that communications must be written, I think, will limit interaction that is critical to the ultimate success of an audit.

Because you all are auditing in a large variety of jurisdictions, I am cautious about recommending universal practices and just urge you to develop your briefing (and listening) procedures around the who, what, when, where, and why appropriate to your government.”

Gary Blackmer, former director of the Oregon Audits Division, discusses how auditors can communicate most effectively with agency heads and staff in his quarterly ALGA post, with practical suggestions for making introductions, engaging the agency in the audit process, finding context for problems, and making sure that your audit is on point. Read more here.

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GAO WatchBlog ReBlog: Updating Government Auditing Standards – The 2017 Yellow Book Exposure Draft

The Yellow Book is the book of standards and guidance for auditors and audit organizations, outlining the requirements for audit reports, professional qualifications for auditors, and audit organization quality control. Auditors of federal, state, and local government programs use these standards to perform their audits and produce their reports.

Today’s WatchBlog discusses the proposed updates, and explains how you can help!

We know. You’ve been waiting on pins and needles to read the 2017 Yellow Book Exposure Draft. Boy, we sure have!

Read more here to learn about the proposed revisions to the Yellow Book. If that’s just not enough, you can find an online version of the exposure draft here, ready to be perused at your leisure. The GAO is also seeking comments on the current exposure draft through June 6th, so you’ve got just over six weeks to compose a masterful letter on why and how the exposure draft does (or, perhaps, does not) meet your auditing needs and expectations. You can send those comments to YellowBookComments@gao.gov.

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