The process of conducting an audit typically includes five steps. The time required to complete each step varies based upon the scope and size of the audit. As required by statute, strict confidentiality is observed while an audit is in progress.
Step One: Entrance Conference
At this meeting, Legislative Audit Bureau staff brief auditee staff on what they can expect during the audit process. Questions are encouraged and arrangements are made for future communication between the Bureau and its auditee staff.
Step Two: Fieldwork
Fieldwork includes information gathering and analysis of that information against standards or criteria. Information is gathered in various ways, including record reviews, data analyses, and interviews. This information is used to determine if the auditee is executing its responsibilities effectively, efficiently, and in compliance with state law.
Step Three: Report Drafting
The report draft presents the Bureau’s conclusions, recommendations for improvements, and alternatives for legislative consideration. As a courtesy, the report draft is typically shared with auditee staff in preparation for the exit conference.
Step Four: Exit Conference
At this meeting, the Bureau provides auditee staff with a formal opportunity to discuss the report draft and to provide additional facts or context. Following the exit conference, auditee staff are typically offered an opportunity to provide a written response, which is published along with the audit report.
Step Five: Report Release
The Bureau releases audit reports electronically to all legislators and to individuals who have requested to receive reports. The Bureau also posts the report to this website. The report release includes a one-page briefing sheet that summarizes the report’s key findings and conclusions. For larger or more complex reports, the Bureau also prepares a highlights that presents the report’s main points, findings, and recommendations.
Expectations for Agency Staff
To ensure an accurate, useful, and timely audit report to the Legislature, it is expected that auditee staff:
- attend and participate in requested meetings with Bureau staff;
- provide complete information to Bureau staff in a timely manner;
- adhere to agreed upon timelines;
- communicate any questions or concerns regarding the audit process; and
- observe the confidential nature of the audit process, as per statute.