GAO - 4 phases to the audit - not 3

 tThe GAO publishes a huge audit manual - called the Financial Audit Manual or FAM.  It is available here:  http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/gaopcie

 

I like how the GAO divides the audit phases into: Planning, Internal Controls, Testing, and Reporting.  See the index below.  This is more refined and realistic than the traditional phases of: Planning, Fieldwork, and Reporting.  I am using their internal control guidance and tools now to improve my internal control documentation training.

 

                                                          Planning Phase                                         FAM

·           Establish an Understanding with the Client                                                        215

·            Understand the Entity’s Operations                                                                                        220

·           Perform Preliminary Analytical Procedures                                                                       225

·           Determine Planning and Design Materiality and Tolerable Misstatement         230

·           Identify Significant Line Items, Accounts, Assertions, and RSSI                                  235

·           Identify Significant Cycles, Accounting Applications, and Systems                          240

·           Identify Significant Provisions of Laws and Regulations                                              245

·           Identify Relevant Budget Restrictions                                                                                    250

·           Identify Risk Factors                                                                                                                         260

·           Determine Likelihood of Effective Information System Controls                               270

·           Identify Relevant Operations Controls to Evaluate and Test                                      275

·           Plan Other Audit Procedures                                                                                                      280

·           Plan Locations to Visit                                                                                                                     285

·           Documentation                                                                                                                                   290

                                                   Internal Control Phase                                  FAM

·           Understand Information Systems                                                                                              320

·           Identify Control Objectives                                                                                                           330

·           Identify and Understand Relevant Control Activities                                                     340

·           Determine the Nature, Extent, and Timing of Control Tests and

Compliance with FFMIA                                                                                                           350

·           Perform Nonsampling Control Tests and Test Compliance with FFMIA                360

·           Assess Internal Control on a Preliminary Basis                                                                  370

·           Other Considerations                                                                                                                      380

·           Documentation                                                                                                                                   390 

                                                                                        Testing Phase                                          FAM

·           Design the Nature, Extent, and Timing of Further Audit Procedures                     420

·           Design Tests                                                                                                                                         430

·           Perform Tests and Evaluate Results                                                                                        440

·            Sampling Control Tests                                                                                                                  450

·            Compliance Tests                                                                                                                              460

·            Substantive Procedures -- Overview                                                                                       470

·            Substantive Analytical Procedures                                                                                           475

·            Substantive Detail Tests                                                                                                                 480

·           Documentation                                                                                                                                   490

                                                        Reporting Phase                                        FAM

·           Perform Overall Analytical Procedures                                                                                 520

·           Reassess Materiality and Risk                                                                                                     530

·           Evaluate Misstatements                                                                                                                 540

·           Conclude Other Audit Procedures                                                                                           550

·           Determine Conformity with U.S. GAAP                                                                                   560

·           Determine Compliance with GAO/PCIE Financial Audit Manual                               570

·           Draft Reports                                                                                                                                       580

·           Documentation                                                                                                                                   590

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Governmental auditors unite! Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of “The Yellow Book Interpreted” and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors. Whether you are an internal auditor or monitor for a government entity or a CPA doing grant audits, you will enjoy Leita’s humorous take on the complexity of auditing in the government environment.

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