Financial Audit Manual

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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 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 2022)

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

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

Volume 1

Volume 2 Detailed Implementation Guidance (June 2022)

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

  • Contents [ZIP]
  • 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, Updated June 2022)

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 Summary 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.

Volumes 1 and 2 of the FAM were revised in June 2022 to reflect changes in auditing financial statements in the U.S. government since the last revisions of FAM Volumes 1 (GAO-18-601G, updated in April 2020) and FAM Volume 2 (GAO-18-625G, updated in March 2021). The revisions were primarily based on changes in (1) professional auditing standards of the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Statements of Auditing Standards Nos. 134, 135, 137, 138, 140, and 141) and (2) audit guidance in the Office of Management and Budget’s Bulletin No. 21-04, Audit Requirements for Federal Financial Statements, issued on June 11, 2021.

Volume 3 of the FAM has been updated since September 2021 to incorporate accounting standards issued by the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board through June 2022 that are effective for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2022, and Office of Management and Budget Circular A-136, Financial Reporting Requirements, guidance issued on June 3, 2022.

Users should also consider any subsequently issued standards and guidance.

For the superseded versions, see FAM archives [ZIP]


GAO Contacts

For technical or practice questions regarding the Financial Audit Manual, please e-mail or contact Dawn B. Simpson at (202) 512-3406 or