GAO-03-673G Government Auditing Standards > Chapter 2 Types of Government Audits and Attestation Engagements > Introduction
2.01 This chapter describes the types of audits and attestation engagements that audit organizations perform, or arrange to have performed, of government entities, programs, and federal awards administered by contractors, nonprofit entities, and other nongovernment entities. This description is not intended to limit or require the types of audits or attestation engagements that may be performed or arranged to be performed. In performing work described below in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS), auditors should follow the applicable standards included and incorporated in chapters 3 through 8. This chapter also describes nonaudit services that audit organizations may provide, although these services are not covered by GAGAS.
2.02 All engagements begin with objectives, and those objectives determine the type of work to be performed and the auditing standards to be followed. The types of work, as defined by their objectives that are covered by GAGAS, are classified in this document as financial audits, attestation engagements, and performance audits.
2.03 Engagements may have a combination of objectives that include more than one type of work described in this chapter or may have objectives limited to only some aspects of one type of work. Auditors should follow the standards that are applicable to the individual objectives of the audit or attestation engagement.
2.04 In some engagements, the applicable standards that apply to the specific audit objective will be apparent. For example, if the audit objective is to express an opinion on financial statements, the standards for financial audits apply. However, for some engagements, there may be overlap between the applicable objectives. For example, if the objectives are to determine the reliability of performance measures, this work can be done in accordance with either the standards for attestation engagements or for performance audits. In cases where there is a choice between applicable standards, auditors should consider users’ needs and the auditors’ knowledge, skills, and experience in deciding which standards to follow. Auditors should apply the standards that are applicable to the type of assignment conducted (the financial audit standards, the attestation engagement standards, or the performance auditing standards).