Center for Government Innovation

Curious about which local governments receive WSDOT funding? FIT has the answer

SAO's latest performance audit report looked at the Washington State Department of Transportation's (WSDOT) contracting processes for tolling. While that audit didn't involve local governments, WSDOT plays a large role in how they obtain state resources to improve local road systems. This got staff in SAO's Center for Government Innovation thinking about how much transportation funding WSDOT distributes statewide.

SAO’s updated guide can help you implement new accounting standards

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) releases new accounting standards nearly every year, and local governments have to evaluate and implement them. We know it can be challenging and time-consuming to implement new standards properly. But as auditors, we also know that a poorly planned implementation can lead to financial statement errors and raise concerns about the quality of your internal controls.

Perform a credit card clean up to reduce your risk for fraud and mismanagement

Government-issued credit card programs provide convenience to employees while reducing procurement costs for small, frequently purchased items. Not only do these programs decrease the administrative burden of processing employee reimbursements, they also reduce the hassle of creating purchase orders with various vendors. It's no wonder these programs are growing in popularity.

Are your ACH internal controls strong enough to protect you from fraudsters? SAO has a new resource to help you

Do you remember the Nigerian prince scheme—that long-running internet fraud where the bad actor drains your bank account after obtaining your information? Fraudsters made $703,000 in 2018 alone on that one. While some fraudsters are still working that old scam, others have moved on to impersonating your employees and vendors to redirect Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments meant for payroll direct deposits or vendor payments. In fact, Washington governments reported $4.7 million lost to these schemes in 2020 and 2021.

Preparing your school district’s annual report? SAO’s updated tool can help

Aah, September: The kids are back in school, the leaves are starting to change colors, and pumpkin spice lattes once again dominate coffeehouse menus. It's also that time of year when school districts begin preparing their financial statements. And, as we do every year, we publish an updated Checklist for Preparing and Reviewing School District Financial Statements to help you get ready.

Is your payroll process as secure and efficient as it could be? Find out with SAO’s suite of payroll resources

It can be challenging to find the time to focus on improving your payroll process amid the constant demands and deadlines of payroll activities. While payroll may be a routine and repetitive process, it's still vulnerable to fraud and human error. Coupled with new and evolving ways to pay your employees and automate payroll, your process may not be as secure and efficient as it could be.

Are you at risk for wire transfer fraud? SAO’s new resource details best practices for protecting public money

Wire transfers move money from one bank account to another. They are a fast way to send money and, if a fraudster intervenes, a fast way to lose it. Wire transfer fraud has dramatically increased in recent years, and more local governments are becoming victims of these scams.

Your accounts payable process is vulnerable to fraud and error. SAO’s resources can help protect it

Accounts payable is a process that delivers significant payments to vendors for goods and services and keeps local government operational. While the tasks that make up your accounts payable process may seem repetitious and mundane, they serve a critical business function—and they are vulnerable to fraud and error. When was the last time you took a hard look at your accounts payable process to ensure it's still designed appropriately and functioning properly?

Are you ready for a federal Single Audit? SAO offers resources to help you avoid common audit issues

The American Rescue Plan Act and the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are sending significant amounts of federal funds to Washington. This means that local governments will be spending more federal funds than ever. If you spend more than $750,000 in federal funds a year, you'll need a Single Audit examining your compliance with the requirements of your program(s).