Auditor Offices

Find auditor offices. Auditors provide information on government auditing standards, internal audits, financials, budgets, debt, spending, accounting, operations, compliance and performance.

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About Auditor Offices

What is an Auditor?

In a government setting, an Auditor performs an oversight role that ensures the transparency and accountability of government agencies and operations. The Auditor is responsible for providing objective evaluations of the performance of government agencies, the integrity of the government's financial operations, and the compliance of government agencies with laws, rules, and regulations. The Auditor also helps government agencies accomplish their objectives by identifying opportunities for improving operations. At times, Auditors may also uncover corrupt or fraudulent activities.

The process of conducting an audit typically includes some variation of the following components:

  • Developing the scope of the audit and defining the criteria for evaluating an agency or program.
  • Conducting background research and gaining an understanding of the agency or program being audited.
  • Conducting fieldwork to gather detailed information and evidence.
  • Preparing preliminary findings and possibly distributing findings to the audited agency to allow for their response.
  • Preparing the audit report which includes the findings of the audit and recommendations for improvement or corrective action.

The unique role of Auditors requires that they be granted the authority needed to carry out investigations and other audit activities. This authority typically comes from legislation that ensures the Auditor has full access to government agencies and their records, and provides safeguards against interference from agencies being audited. Auditors often operate outside of traditional management structures, and may report to an audit committee or other oversight authority. This further protects against interference in the Auditor's work.

In addition to internally focused activities, an Auditor may audit government grants and contracts awarded to private sector entities. These externally focused reviews provide oversight and transparency for the distribution of grant funds and contract payments.

In some cases, an outside Auditor may be contracted to conduct an audit of some aspect of a government agency or program. For example, an outside accounting firm almost always conducts the annual financial audit. The purpose of the annual financial audit is to confirm that the government's annual financial statements accurately represent its financial position. The annual financial audit may also uncover problems or deficiencies in the entity's financial policies and procedures.