Concerned about possible errors on your SEFA? SAO is here to help

May 3, 2022

Washington's governments encountered special audit circumstances this year when it came to preparing the Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SEFA). School districts were no different—and many of
you found yourselves facing a federal audit for the first time because the funding you received related
to the COVID-19 pandemic met or exceeded the federal government's threshold to require an audit.

The combination of that new funding and special instructions on how to identify those funds on the
SEFA resulted in errors for almost everyone. For those of you whose audits are complete, SAO appreciates your openness and flexibility in working with your auditors to ensure accurate SEFAs and, therefore, accurate audit reports. If your audit is in progress, rest assured your audit team will coordinate with you to update your SEFA before the audit is complete.

While the pandemic created challenging circumstances, it is also a good reminder to read carefully the instructions in OSPI's Administrative Budgeting and Financial Reporting (ABFR) handbook every year before filing your SEFA. Additionally, Part 8, Appendix IV of the Compliance Supplement contains a full list of programs included in Part 4 that have requirements defined in Appendix IV, “Other Information.” You can find any special SEFA reporting requirements in that section. In general, you can avoid the vast majority of SEFA errors by following the instructions in the ABFR handbook and Compliance Supplement. Finally, SAO is always ready to help with any questions you submit through our HelpDesk in the client portal.

Any time you need to make corrections to your SEFA, here's how:

  • Log into your SAO report at
  • Click the blue “unlock” button. This will prompt you to provide a brief explanation of the purpose of the “unlock,” and then it will open your report. The status will now be pending.
  • Click “edit report” to open the report for edits. After you make the corrections, click the submit button on the last step again, and that will complete your updated report.

If you are unable to click the blue “unlock” button, that might mean the audit for that year has been completed. Email for questions and next steps.