The Audit Connection Blog

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. If you can't make it, you can read the highlights in our special Audit Connection newsletter. ... 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New report, resource published on managing outdated government software applications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

State Auditor Pat McCarthy: Just like big cities, small towns need public accountability

Checks and balances play a critical role in a small town’s financial integrity, including local journalists helping shine a light on the use of taxpayer dollars. Without all the proper elements in place, the potential for a loss of public funds—and public trust—runs high. State Auditor Pat McCarthy voiced her thoughts about this significant accountability issue in a recent op-ed piece published by the Spokesman Review. We have re-published it in its entirety on our website for your convenience. ... CONTINUE READING

Buying fuel? SAO’s new resource can help you pump up your internal controls

Fuel prices can be volatile. When they rise, governments will feel it in higher fleet-operation budgets, and employees will feel it in their wallets. And here at SAO, we will likely see more local government reports of known or suspected fuel-related losses and frauds. ... CONTINUE READING

Is your contractor banned from receiving federal funds? Don’t wait to find out

Some contractors are banned from doing business with the federal government, and it’s your job to know who they are. If you use federal grant money to pay a banned contractor, you risk auditors questioning your spending. Even worse, you might have to repay that money to your federal grantors. ... CONTINUE READING