The process of conducting an audit typically includes several 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 laws or regulations.
Step Three: Report Drafting
The report draft presents the Bureau’s conclusions, recommendations for improvements, and alternatives for legislative consideration. As a courtesy, a confidential report draft is typically shared with agency staff in preparation for the exit conference.
Step Four: Exit Conference
At this meeting, the Bureau typically provides agency staff with a formal opportunity to discuss the report draft and to provide additional facts or context. Following the exit conference, the agency head is 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. Each report release includes the posting of a report summary, which includes links to certain report topics. Any recommendations made by the Bureau will be published in the report and posted separately on this website.
Expectations for Agency Staff
To ensure an accurate, useful, and timely audit report to the Legislature, it is expected that agency staff:
- attend and participate in requested meetings with Bureau staff;
- minimize the agency's reliance on a single liaison for responses to Bureau requests for information;
- provide complete information to Bureau staff in a timely manner;
- adhere to agreed upon timelines;
- proactively communicate when agreed upon timelines may not be met; and
- observe the confidential nature of the audit process, as per statute.