The Audit Connection Blog

Are your IT policies strong enough? Chances are, probably not

IT policies are the foundation of key cybersecurity controls. This SAO blog post discusses the top seven IT policies that your government should have in place. ... CONTINUE READING

Regular training can help your employees be your first line of defense against cyberattacks.

With regular training, employees can become your government's first line of defense against cyberattacks. This blog post from SAO takes look at the components of cybersecurity awareness training programs and offer tips for building your own. ... CONTINUE READING

You’re the weakest link: How to avoid revealing your government’s sensitive information to hackers

Rather than hacking your government directly, cyber criminals create believable stories to gain your employees' trust using social engineering tactics. This SAO blog post explains how you can increase your employees' awareness of common tactics that should raise suspicion. ... CONTINUE READING

Greetings Washington Finance Officers Association – the Washington State Auditor’s Office has trainings, sessions and resources just for you!

For the 2023 WFOA Conference, we’re proud to offer three pre-conference trainings and 13 sessions. SAO staff will be presenting on topics like new BARS updates and annual filing system changes, federal grant management, and cybersecurity. And several of our “frauditors” will be there, sharing the latest fraud-prevention practices and insights at our ever-popular Fighting Fraud Friday. ... CONTINUE READING

Avoid the most common federal single audit finding with these 10 tips

Several pieces of legislation are infusing significant amounts of federal funds into state and local governments. When using federal funds, local governments must follow very specific procurement requirements. SAO has identified particularly risky areas to pay attention to when you procure goods and services with federal funds. ... CONTINUE READING

New report, resource published on managing outdated government software applications

A new performance audit from the Office of the Washington State Auditor can help state agencies better identify legacy applications, analyze the risks they pose and plan for their replacement. The report is paired with a resource to help local governments address their legacy applications. ... CONTINUE READING

SAO’s newly redesigned Financial Intelligence Tool (FIT) now offers easier access to financial data for nearly 2,000 local governments

Those familiar with the Financial Intelligence Tool (FIT) from SAO’s Center for Government Innovation know it has plenty of horsepower: It includes a decade’s worth of financial data for nearly 2,000 local governments, along with a ton of different ways to sort, filter and arrange this insightful information.  FIT’s even better today, as we’ve redesigned it to better suit your interests and lifestyle. ... CONTINUE READING

Preparing your school district’s financial reporting package? SAO’s updated review checklist can help

The end of summer also means the end of another school district fiscal year. We’re here to help you close the books and prepare your financial reporting package with our 2022-23 Checklist for Preparing and Reviewing School District Financial Statements. ... CONTINUE READING

34 unresolved findings and $1.2 billion questioned: A summary of SAO’s audit of Washington’s federal spending in 2022

SAO conducts an annual single audit that examines whether state agencies spent federal dollars as expected. This year, we issued 70 findings—34 of which relate to unresolved issues from prior audits—and we are questioning close to $1.2 billion in costs. View our infographic for a summary of how state agencies spent federal money, and how Washington can improve its compliance with federal rules. ... CONTINUE READING

Overtime is too costly to ignore. Use your data to monitor it

Monitoring your overtime costs allows you to detect irregularities, such as a mistake or system glitch that might have resulted in overpayments. You can also determine if the overtime that employees are working is significant and then assess whether it is sustainable. Before you start monitoring your overtime costs, you first need to establish expectations for a reasonable range of overtime activity. Then, compare your expectations to the actual data and follow up on any variances. In this article, SAO offers tips to help you monitor your overtime data. ... CONTINUE READING