Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Most performance evaluations are requested by legislators through the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. State agencies may also request our services in order to meet external audit requirements.
Any legislator may request a performance evaluation or a financial audit by writing to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee's co-chairpersons. Audit requests should clearly identify the topic, program, and agency in question, as well as the specific concerns that may be addressed by an audit or evaluation. Before submitting a request to the co-chairpersons, legislators may wish to discuss it with the State Auditor, who will provide information on similar topics that have been previously audited and help to assess the feasibility, size, and scope of the proposed inquiry.
To inquire about the status of an audit in progress, or to obtain information about a past audit report, please call the Bureau at (608) 266-2818 or email the Bureau at AskLAB@legis.wisconsin.gov.
Standards require the Legislative Audit Bureau to have an internal quality control system. This quality control system includes processes that check the audit work to ensure the Bureau is applying auditing standards when conducting financial audits, and the audit reports contain accurate and reliable information. Components of the Bureau’s internal quality control system include:
1) the hiring and continuous training of professional staff who are qualified to perform the audit work;
2) ongoing supervisory review of workpapers conducted by team leaders and directors to make sure the information gathered is relevant and accurate and that the conclusions reached are reasonable and appropriate;
3) quality control review conducted prior to the release of every audit report through which a senior auditor reviews the accuracy of the report against the workpapers; and
4) internal peer review directed by the Bureau’s Quality Assurance Coordinator on a sample of completed financial audits to determine if staff complied with Bureau policies and procedures and auditing standards.
In addition to these steps, the State Auditor and the leadership team are intensively involved in writing, editing, and the quality assurance efforts for each individual audit report. Every three years, the Bureau undergoes an external peer review by a team of auditors from other state audit organizations. (See FAQ: Who audits the Legislative Audit Bureau?)
Many factors, including the size and complexity of the audit scope, the availability and responsiveness of auditee staff to respond to audit questions, the availability of reliable and accurate data, and staffing resources all affect audit timelines. However, because audit findings, conclusions, and recommendations rely on audit evidence, the process of compiling and verifying that evidence must be thorough. Audit evidence must be sufficient and appropriate. As such, the Legislative Audit Bureau does not accept information on face value and independently verifies the accuracy and reliability of the information used as the basis of an audit finding or conclusion.
Statutes require the Bureau to maintain the confidentiality of audits in progress. This is, in part, to allow the Bureau to complete all aspects of its audit work and to document its findings in a manner that is free from outside influence. Once an audit report is published, and the related documentation is completed, information used to support audit findings and recommendations is available to the public unless it is otherwise confidential by law, in which case the confidential information will remain confidential.
You can follow the Bureau on Twitter or you can be notified through the Bureau's email notification service, which you can receive by emailing AskLAB@legis.wisconsin.gov and asking for the service. If you receive the service, the Bureau will notify you each time it releases a new report. To request notification of the release of a specific report, email the Bureau at AskLAB@legis.wisconsin.gov. Please indicate the audit of interest.
Every three years, through the National State Auditors Association, our peers from other states review the Bureau's system of quality control and the working papers from selected financial audits for compliance with financial auditing standards. We successfully completed our most recent peer review in September 2018.