Auditing the Head Start Program as Part of Your Single Audit: Avoid Common Pitfalls – Member Web Event

If your single audits include the Head Start cluster (CFDA Nos. 93.600, 93.708, and 93.709) as a major program, the information on this Web page should be reviewed very closely.  Head Start is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) program which funds local organizations to provide services that promote the school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Understanding and auditing these programs in a single audit can be challenging. Therefore, the HHS Office of Head Start (OHS) and the AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC) co-sponsored a Web event to assist auditors in understanding the Head Start program and how to audit it in a single audit. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Supplemental Follow-Up Recording and Slides Address Unanswered Questions from Original Live Web Event

The live Web event (described below) resulted in a number of questions that could not be addressed due to time constraints.  Therefore, the GAQC recorded a follow-up interview with the original presenters who shared their high-level insights on the main topic areas of the previously unanswered questions.   This follow-up session is intended to supplement the original GAQC Web event described and archived below.  Additionally, the HHS presenters developed a follow-up PowerPoint presentation that includes many of the questions received during the live event, as well as HHS staff views on each question.  To get the most out of the follow-up audio recording, participants should have either listened to the original live event or the archive of that live event (see access link below).  Then, participants should open the follow-up PowerPoint presentation and listen to the follow-up audio recording. Additionally, there are more topics and details covered in the follow-up PowerPoint presentation than are discussed in the audio recording.  Therefore, consider reviewing the slides in more detail after listening to the follow-up audio recording.  Note that there is no continuing professional education (CPE) credit available for listening to the follow-up audio recording.

Open Follow-Up Head Start Question and Answer PowerPoint Slides

Listen to Follow-Up Head Start Audio Recording

About the Web Event

Head Start funds local organizations to provide services that promote the school readiness of children ages birth to five from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development. Understanding and auditing Head Start in a single audit can be challenging. Therefore, this archived Web event is intended to assist auditors in better understanding Head Start and other important considerations when auditing the program as part of a single audit.

Participants in this archived event will: 

  • Hear directly from OHS leaders and staff and CPA practitioners who are familiar with Head Start;
  • Gain a better understanding of Head Start requirements and related Head Start audit guidance in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Compliance Supplement;
  • Hear about areas of noncompliance identified in OHS triennial monitoring reviews;
  • Learn about common audit quality issues;
  • Get practical suggestions for avoiding common pitfalls; and
  • Have an opportunity to submit your questions.

About the Presenters (both on the original and follow-up events)

Ann Linehan, is the Deputy Director of the Office of Head Start (OHS).  She joined the Department of Health and Human Services in 1992.  Ann began her Federal career as Regional Program Manager for Head Start programs in the six New England states. In 1996, she joined the OHS headquarters in Washington, DC, and served in a number of key senior management positions before becoming Deputy Director.  Prior to Federal service, Ann was Executive Director of a non- profit Head Start and child care agency for nearly ten years.  She began her professional career working as a teacher and coordinator of services for special needs children and their families.  Ann earned her B.A. in Sociology and Psychology and her M.Ed. from Boston State College.

Terry Ramsey, CPA, is a senior technical advisor in the HHS Office of Finance and provides department-wide leadership for follow-up on single audit findings.  Terry’s Federal service includes 12 years at OMB including the Office of Federal Financial Management where he worked extensively on OMB Circular A-133, the annual updates to the A-133 Compliance Supplement, and OMB oversight of the Federal Audit Clearinghouse.  Previously Terry worked with the non-Federal Audit Staff in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General, and at the state and local level in Virginia.  He is a member of the AICPA Technical Standards Subcommittee and served on the Compliance Auditing Task Force for SAS 117.

Eric Formberg, CPA, is a partner with Plante & Moran, PLLC in the Auburn Hills, Michigan office. Eric is responsible for administration of standards and compliance in the firm's school district practice. Eric also oversees the firm's Compliance Audit Team which serves nine separate industries within the firm that are subject to compliance auditing. Eric is a past member of the AICPA GAQC Executive Committee and AICPA State & Local Government Expert Panel, and a frequent presenter of governmental related CPE conferences.

Jim Belanger, CPA, Director of Fiscal Operations, Danya International has been involved with Head Start since 1992, as a controller for a recipient organization, technical assistance provider, and compliance monitor.  He has extensive experience in performing quality control reviews of Head Start monitoring reports.  He is a certified public accountant and a member of the American Institutes of CPAs.

Belinda Rinker, J. D., Senior Advisor to the Office of Head Start is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law with over thirty years of experience working with grant-funded and nonprofit organizations. She has substantial expertise in the areas of fiscal compliance, employment law, program management and facilities activities. Over the course of her career, Belinda has worked with Head Start and Early Head Start grantees throughout the United States and in Puerto Rico, including AIAN and Migrant and Seasonal Head Start programs. Her experience includes interim management of relinquished and de-funded programs and support for development of the Fiscal Integrity section of the triennial review protocol.

Archived Web Event Listening Instructions

You should print out and have available the slides from the original event, Auditing the Head Start Program as Part of Your Single Audit: Avoid Common Pitfalls, when listening to the archive of the original event.  Access the slides in PDF or PowerPoint format. There is no CPE credit available for listening to the archived Web event.  

Click on the below link, to listen to the archived Web event: