Single Audit Practice Aids 

    Published June 16, 2010

    The AICPA’s Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC) launched a series of task forces to address deficiencies that were noted in a June 2007 federal study on the quality of audits performed under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations (Circular A-133)—also referred to as single audits. The study results are detailed in a report titled, Report on National Single Audit Sampling Project (the PCIE report), that was issued by the President’s Council on Integrity and Efficiency (PCIE) and can be accessed in its entirety by clicking here. Practice Aids developed by the task forces are described below. These Practice Aids are nonauthoritative and their use is not required. However, they may help you, as an auditor, understand and apply certain auditing standards. The GAQC believes that audit quality will be further enhanced by their use. Auditors that already have their own internal guidance in these areas and do not wish to use the GAQC Practice Aids are encouraged to compare them to such internal guidance to ensure that there are not any areas that are lacking or need to be enhanced.


    Updated Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SEFA) Practice Aids

    The GAQC established a SEFA Task Force (TF) in response to audit quality issues identified in the PCIE report that relate to the auditor’s procedures and reporting on the SEFA. In 2009, the SEFA TF developed two Practice Aids to assist auditors in determining whether the SEFA includes all required elements, is accurate and complete, and that the auditor’s procedures relating to the SEFA are appropriately documented. The Practice Aids have been updated and expanded to reflect the issuance of AU section 551, Supplementary Information in Relation to the Financial Statements as a Whole.

    Further, because preparation of the SEFA is an auditee responsibility, the TF also developed two Practice Aids intended to assist auditees in their important role of ensuring that the SEFA is prepared accurately and completely. Note that auditors should refer to Chapter 7, Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards, of the AICPA Audit Guide, Government Auditing Standards and Circular A-133 Audits, for a description of the various requirements relating to the SEFA for both the auditor and the auditee, as well as for additional guidance. The Auditee Practices Aids were not impacted by the issuance of AU section 551, thus the 2009 versions remain relevant.

    The three Practice Aids developed as auditor tools by the SEFA TF are available in PDF (available to the public) or Word (available to GAQC members only).  The Auditor Practice aids are as follows:

    • Audit Plan Supplement for the SEFA in Accordance with OMB Circular A-133: This Practice Aid provides the auditor with an illustrative audit plan as a tool to document the procedures performed for purposes of providing the in relation to opinion on the SEFA, as well as the additional procedures to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information included in the SEFA. 
    • Disclosure Checklist: SEFA in accordance with OMB Circular A-133: This Practice Aid is intended to assist the auditor in determining whether the auditee’s SEFA includes all of the elements required by Circular A-133.
    • Auditor's Report Checklist of the In Relation To Opinion on the SEFA: This Practice Aid is intended to assist the auditor in determining whether all the required report elements, as provided in AU section 551, are included in the in relation to opinion on the SEFA.

    The two Practice Aids developed as auditee tools by the SEFA TF are available in PDF or Word (both versions available to the public. The Auditee Practice Aids are as follows:  

    • Worksheet for Identifying Federal Program Information: This Practice Aid is intended to assist the auditee in accumulating and documenting important information for each of its federal awards. This information could be provided to the auditor at the beginning of the single audit. 
    • Auditee Disclosure Checklist for the SEFA: This Practice Aid is intended to assist auditees with preparing a SEFA that includes all of the elements required by Circular A-133.  

    Please also note that the GAQC has posted report illustrations which provide examples for auditor reporting under Circular A-133. The illustrations include revisions to the schedule of expenditures of federal awards reporting in order to comply with AU section 551. The report illustrations are available to the public.

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    Internal Controls and Compliance Practice Aids

    The GAQC established the Internal Control and Compliance Responsibilities in a Single Audit  task force (the ICC TF) to review the findings in the PCIE report relating to internal control and compliance-related findings and recommendations.  In response, the ICC TF developed three illustrative Practice Aids to assist the auditor in understanding the procedures to be performed and the related auditor documentation in a single audit when gaining an understanding of internal control over compliance and testing compliance and internal control over compliance.  Note that auditors should refer to Chapter 9, Internal Control Over Compliance for Major Programs, and Chapter 10, Compliance Auditing Applicable to Major Programs of the AICPA Audit Guide, Government Auditing Standards and Circular A-133 Audits, for a more detailed description of the various auditor requirements in these areas.

    The three Practice Aids developed by the ICC TF are listed below.  Each practice aid is available individually for free to GAQC members in the relevant Word or Excel formats (using the links below) or in one single electronic publication for a nominal fee (see paragraph below for instructions).

    • Major Program Risk Matrix. This practice aid provides auditors with a template to illustrate how they might document which of the 14 types of compliance requirements ultimately will be subject to audit for each major program. The template includes an assessment of the applicability of each requirement and whether each requirement also is direct and material to the program. The template also provides the auditor an opportunity to consolidate in one place the assessments of the various risks associated with each type of compliance requirement and references to audit documentation where the risk assessments are supported and testwork is performed.   GAQC members can click here to access the Excel version of the matrix.  Alternatively, see the paragraph below for instructions on how to purchase all of the Practice Aids in a downloadable PDF format. 
    • Controls Overview Documents (Narrative and Checklist). Two different practice aids were developed to illustrate how an auditor might document the audit work associated with internal control over compliance for the types of compliance requirements selected for testing for each major program. Because audit documentation styles vary widely, both a narrative template and a checklist template were developed for the auditor to choose from. GAQC members can click here to access the word version of the narrative document and click here to access the Excel version of the checklist document.  Alternatively, see the paragraph below for instructions on how to purchase all of the Practice Aids in a downloadable PDF format.
    • Dual Purpose Testwork. This practice aid illustrates how an auditor might document the use of one sample to test both internal control over compliance and compliance.  GAQC members can click here to access the Excel version of the dual-purpose testwork illustration.  Alternatively, see the paragraph below for instructions on how to purchase all of the Practice Aids in a downloadable PDF format. 

    PDF Version of Practice Aids Designed for Auditor Documentation Input Also Available to GAQC and non-GAQC Members.   Because of the comprehensive nature of the above Practice Aids and to provide more flexibility with how they are used, the GAQC has also published them in a single electronic downloadable publication titled, Documenting and Testing Compliance and Internal Control Over Compliance in a Single Audit (product no. 006662PDF) that is available at CPA2BIZ for a nominal fee (i.e., $39.99 for AICPA members) to both GAQC and non-GAQC members.  This electronic document includes each Practice Aid in a PDF format that auditors can use to input their auditor documentation.  To order Documenting and Testing Compliance and Internal Control Over Compliance in a Single Audit, click here

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    SAS No. 117, Compliance Audits, Should be Implemented for June 30, 2010, Year-Ends

    Statement on Auditing Standard (SAS) No. 117, Compliance Audits, was issued by the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) in December 2009, and supersedes SAS No. 74, Compliance Auditing Considerations in Audits of Governmental Entities and Recipients of Governmental Financial Assistance.  It applies to your single audits and other similar compliance audits for fiscal periods ending on or after June 15, 2010. Therefore, it is important for auditors to become familiar with its provisions.  The SAS was developed in response to findings in a federal study on single audit quality that showed improvements were needed in many areas.  The GAQC was an active participant in the ASB task force that developed the SAS.  Click here to obtain a copy of SAS No. 117. 

    GAQC members can click here to listen to an archived version of a GAQC member only Web event titled, The New Compliance Auditing SAS and an Update on Other AICPA Auditing Standards. This Web event will provide you with details about the new SAS No. 117, as well as an overview of other auditing standards activities of interest to auditors that perform governmental or not-for-profit organization audits. 

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    Sampling in a Single Audit Environment

    The GAQC established a task force (the Sampling TF) to review the findings in the PCIE report and to respond to the sampling-related recommendations.  In response, the Sampling TF developed a new chapter that was added (in December 2009) to the the AICPA Audit Guide, Government Auditing Standards and Circular A-133 Audits (GAS A-133 Guide), titled, “Audit Sampling Considerations of Circular A-133 Compliance Audits” (Chapter) to address sampling in a single audit environment.  The Chapter was effective upon its issuance because auditing guidance contained in an AICPA Audit Guide is considered an interpretative publication. Therefore, the Chapter is not setting new requirements but rather providing recommendations on the application of the existing auditing standards, including AU section 350, Audit Sampling, to this topic area.    Before its issuance, the Chapter was cleared by the AICPA Auditing Standards Board and federal agency representatives. Tools for the auditor in this area include:

    • GAS A-133 Guide. The Chapter is available to subscribers to the AICPA online publication, AICPA RESOURCE–ONLINE, and other similar subscription services and in the print editions (since 2009) of the GAS A-133 Guide  You may obtain the Guide through CPA2Biz. More information on subscriptions to AICPA RESOURCE–ONLINE can be obtained through CPA2Biz
    • Executive Summary of the GAS A-133 Guide Sampling Chapter. The GAQC has also prepared an executive summary of the Chapter to help practitioners better understand what the new Chapter encompasses and to assist those who do not yet have access to the Chapter to plan for upcoming single audit engagements. This summary should not be used as a substitute for the Chapter. The Chapter provides much more context and detail for sampling considerations. Therefore, practitioners are highly encouraged to obtain the GAS A-133 Guide to ensure an appropriate understanding of the requirements and guidance for sampling in a single audit environment.   
    • AU section 350.  Auditors performing sampling in a single audit environment should also refer to the underlying auditing standard on sampling, AU section 350.
    • Sampling Guide.  In addition to the Chapter, auditors may also want to refer to the AICPA Audit Guide Audit Sampling (Sampling Guide) which serves as the foundation for much of the guidance in the new GAS A-133 Guide Chapter.  The Sampling Guide is also an interpretive publication and assists practitioners in the application of AU section 350. The Sampling Guide can be ordered through CPA2Biz. 

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