Government Auditing Standards (the "Yellow Book") contains standards for audits of government organizations, programs, activities, and
functions, and of government assistance received by contractors, nonprofit organizations, and other nongovernment organizations. These standards, often referred to as generally accepted
government auditing standards (GAGAS), are to be followed by auditors and audit organizations when required by law, regulation, agreement, contract, or policy. These standards pertain
to auditors' professional qualifications, the quality of audit effort, and the characteristics of professional and meaningful audit reports.
To help ensure that Government Auditing Standards (the "Yellow Book") continues to meet the needs of the audit community and the public it
serves, the Comptroller General of the United States appointed the Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards to review the standards and recommend necessary changes. The Council
includes experts in financial and performance auditing drawn from all levels of government, private enterprise, public accounting, and academia. In February 1997, the Advisory Council
on Government Auditing Standards endorsed a revised approach of issuing individual standards issue-by-issue. The approach will continue the practice of exposing all revisions for public
comment as the Council reaches consensus on a particular issue. The Council will consider those comments in making recommendations to the Comptroller General of the United States in
finalizing revisions to the standards. When the Comptroller General issues a revised standard, the electronic version of Government Auditing Standards will be immediately
codified, with a periodic codification of the standards into the printed book format. This revised approach was adopted in order to provide more timely revision of the standards for
emerging audit issues.