Financial Audit Manual

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.

View the Current FAM   -   Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

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The FAM is a three-volume publication. Volume 1 is audit methodology, Volume 2 is detailed implementation guidance, and Volume 3 is checklists.

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

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

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 Checklists

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

  • Section 2010 - Checklist for Federal Accounting [ZIP]
  • Section 2020 - Checklist for Federal Reporting and Disclosures [ZIP]

Volume 3

FAM Revisions

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 each volume.

Yellow Book Icon

Government Auditing Standards, also known as the Yellow Book, provide a framework for conducting high quality audits with competence, integrity, objectivity, and independence. Yellow Book establishes requirements for performing financial audits in addition to the requirements contained in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants standards.

Green Book Icon

Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, known as the Green Book, sets standards for federal agencies on the policies and procedures they employ to ensure effective resource use in fulfilling their mission, goals, objectives, and strategic plan. Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act requires that federal agency executives periodically review and annually report on the agency's internal control systems.

Info System Audit Manual Icon

The Federal Information Systems Controls Audit Manual provides a framework for assessing the effectiveness of information system controls in support of financial statement audits.

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