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The Audit Connection Blog

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The power of a problem series: Defining the problem

February 16, 2022

Identifying the problem is only the first step, and quickly firing off ill-considered solutions can create even more problems. Now is the time to slow down, take stock, and lead with curiosity so you can fully define the problem and its effects. In this week’s post, we’re going to share the types of questions we, as Lean specialists, use to help local governments define a problem.

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The power of a problem series: Identifying the problem

February 10, 2022

Last week, we kicked off our power of a problem series by describing what can happen when we don’t take the time to properly identify the right problem from the start. This week, we’re going to share techniques that we, as Lean specialists, use to help local governments see how incidents that appear isolated may actually be connected and indicative of a systemic problem.

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Are you a GAAP government accounting for capital assets? Download SAO’s updated capital asset checklist today

February 10, 2022

Properly accounting for capital assets is complex and requires significant accounting resources. That’s why we’ve redesigned our Checklist for Capital Assets and added questions to help you avoid the common mistakes we see during audits. Whether you’re preparing your year-end financial report filing or evaluating your policy, processes and internal controls, this checklist for GAAP governments can help with your capital asset accounting.

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Summary infographic of Washington’s 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report

February 8, 2022

Each year, as required by law, the state publishes its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) to provide information on the state’s financial position.
The ACFR is a complex and lengthy document (338 pages) with detailed information on the state’s structure, services, finances, trends and nonfinancial data. In short, the ACFR shows how the state manages the public money entrusted to it by Washington residents.

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Few ballots rejected, but rejection rates vary by county, gender and race, performance audit finds

February 1, 2022

In the counties reviewed, election officials followed the law in determining whether to reject a ballot. However, the likelihood that a voter’s ballot will be rejected varied greatly by county. And ballots cast by some demographic groups – including younger voters, male voters, and those belonging to certain racial and ethnic groups – have higher rejection rates than others.

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Cybersecurity Special Report 2022: Keeping an independent eye on government IT security

January 27, 2022

The State Auditor’s Office plays a unique role in keeping an independent eye on government IT security. We work with state and local governments to help improve their cybersecurity programs through audits and outreach activities. We’ve created a special report giving a short overview of our work and findings in the area of cybersecurity. It offers legislators, the public and government leaders information they need to help ensure our state’s critical IT systems and data remain protected.

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Looking for new ways to electronically pay employees? Learn about payroll cards

January 25, 2022

Traditionally, local governments have had two options to pay their employees: by direct deposit or by paper check. But these options may not work well for everyone. Not all employees have bank accounts, which makes direct deposit impossible. For these employees, cashing payroll checks can be difficult, inconvenient and costly. Checks are expensive for local governments, too, and they create additional work if employees lose them or don’t cash them for extended periods of time.

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