GAO creates checklist for auditor requirements

The Government Accountability Office has developed a checklist to help auditors apply and document the appropriate auditing standards for various types of assessments. The guidance follows revisions that GAO made in July to the standards language.

The Professional Requirements Tool describes which requirements “must” and which “should” be used to comply with financial, performance and other audits, said Jeanette Franzel, director of GAO’s financial management and assurance issues, in the document published Jan. 2.

The July 2007 Revision of the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, also called the “Yellow Book,” clarified language that defines an auditor’s level of responsibility and distinguishes between auditor requirements and additional guidance.

Even with the use of the checklist, auditors still need to be familiar with the explanatory material from the standards revision so that they make the appropriate professional judgments about compliance with requirements. The guidance lists in one column the requirements detailed in the compilation of the government standards and in another whether the standard must or should be followed to comply with the revision.

How and whether an auditor carries out procedures labeled “should” depends on the auditor's professional judgment in line with the objective of the standard, the guidance states.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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