The Financial Audit Manual (FAM) is a joint effort between GAO and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). The FAM, which consists of three volumes, presents a methodology to perform financial statement audits of federal entities in accordance with professional standards.

The FAM is a three-volume publication. Volume 1 is audit methodology, Volume 2 is detailed implementation guidance, and Volume 3 is the Federal Financial Reporting Checklist.

How to Access the FAM

You may download the full volumes in PDF format or the individual sections in a Word document that can be used with your own data.

Volume 1 Audit Methodology (June 2018, updated April 2020)

View the full volume in PDF format, or download specific sections in Word:

  • Section 100 - Introduction [ZIP]
  • Section 200 - Planning [ZIP]
  • Section 300 - Internal Control [ZIP]
  • Section 400 - Testing [ZIP]
  • Section 500 - Reporting [ZIP]
  • Section Appendix – Abbreviations [ZIP]
  • Section Appendix - Glossary [ZIP]

Volume 1

Volume 2 Detailed Implementation Guidance (June 2018, updated March 2021)

View the full volume in PDF format, or download specific sections in Word:

  • Section 600 - Using the Work of Others [ZIP]
  • Section 700 - FFMIA Guidance and Agreed-Upon Procedures Guidance [ZIP]
  • Section 800 - Compliance [ZIP]
  • Section 900 - Substantive Testing Implementation Guidance [ZIP]
  • Section 1000 - Reporting Implementation Guidance [ZIP]

Volume 2

Volume 3 Checklist (September 2021)

View the full volume in PDF format, or download in Word:

  • Section 2010 - Federal Financial Reporting Checklist [ZIP]

Volume 3

Excel Templates

Download templates of the Specific Control Evaluation, Line Item Risk Analysis, Further Evaluation of Audit Risk, and Schedule of Uncorrected Misstatements in Excel: [ZIP]


The online version supersedes previously issued versions of FAM and can be used immediately to audit federal entity financial statements.

The FAM was revised in June 2018 to reflect significant changes in auditing financial statements in the U.S. government since the last major revisions of FAM Volumes 1 and 2 (GAO-08-585G and GAO-08-586G issued in July 2008) and FAM Volume 3 (GAO-07-313G issued in August 2007). The revisions to the FAM were primarily based on changes in (1) professional auditing and attestation standards of the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, (2) GAO’s Government Auditing Standards (2011), (3) GAO’s Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government (2014), and (4) the Office of Management and Budget’s audit and reporting guidance.

Volumes 1 and 2 of the FAM have been updated since June 2018 based on further changes to standards and guidance. For example, a revision to GAO’s Government Auditing Standards (GAO-18-568G) was issued in July 2018. These updates were not significant enough to necessitate an exposure draft. A list of changes is available at the beginning of Volumes 1 and 2.

Volume 3 of the FAM, issued in September 2021, incorporates accounting standards issued by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board through August 2021 that are effective for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021, and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-136, Financial Reporting Requirements, guidance issued on August 10, 2021.

For the superseded versions, see FAM archives [ZIP]


GAO Contacts

For technical or practice questions regarding the Financial Audit Manual, please e-mail FAM@gao.gov.