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AICPA Revises Two Guides on Governmental Auditing

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Aug 5th 2015
Staff Writer and Editor AccountingWEB
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The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) has updated two resources used by auditors of governmental and not-for-profit entities that expend federal awards and those who audit state and local government financial statements.

The 2015 edition of the AICPA Audit Guide, Government Auditing Standards and Single Audits, is geared toward auditors who perform single audits of federal expenditures, as well as audits performed in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, known as the “Yellow Book.”

“In particular, this year's guide provides critical information for auditors to manage the transition from performing single audits under OMB Circular A-133 to the new OMB Uniform Guidance regulation for single audits,” Mary Foelster, CPA, CGMA, director of governmental auditing and accounting for the AICPA, said in a written statement.

The audit requirements contained in the new Uniform Guidance generally become effective for Dec. 31, 2015, year-end single audits and later. Audits performed before that time will be under OMB Circular A-133, but there are still Uniform Guidance implications for expenditure testing in those audits.

The latest edition of Governmental Auditing Standards and Single Audits, updated as of Feb. 1, 2015, addresses this major change by:

  • Adding 10 new chapters that cover the Uniform Guidance audit requirements in a new Part 3.
  • Continuing the existing chapters in Part 2 of the guide that cover Circular A-133 audit requirements.
  • Including transitional guidance at the end of many chapters in parts 2 and 3, providing guidance and audit considerations related to moving from Circular A-133 to the Uniform Guidance.

The 2015 edition of the AICPA Audit and Accounting Guide, State and Local Governments, provides the latest authoritative guidance and key “how-to” advice for audits of state and local governments.

A major addition to this year's guide, updated as of March 1, 2015, is a comprehensive new chapter that addresses the accounting and financial reporting requirements under the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's (GASB) new pension standards, as well as related auditing considerations for both audits of governmental pension plans and the employers that participate in those plans.

“The audit considerations surrounding governmental pensions are complex, and this new comprehensive chapter will be a key resource for helping auditors and entities gain an understanding of the issues,” said Foelster, who oversees the AICPA's Governmental Audit Quality Center.

The new pension chapter in State and Local Governments includes:

  • A section addressing GASB Statement No. 67 for governmental plans, including the assertions, identified risks of “what could go wrong,” and example audit procedures for the significant accounts of pension plans. The guide provides specific adaptations for the various types of plans. It also addresses the relevance of census data for each type of plan and provides practical resources, such as audit strategies and example assertions and reports related to census data.
  • Two sections addressing GASB Statement No. 68 for participating employers, including the assertions, identified risks of “what could go wrong,” and example audit procedures.  It also addresses the collaboration needed between plans and employers to obtain information needed by employers for financial reporting purposes.
  • Various Appendixes that provide nonauthoritative solutions to multiple-employer plan and related employer issues.
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