Single Audit:

Refinements Can Improve Usefulness

T-AIMD-96-77: Published: Mar 29, 1996. Publicly Released: Mar 29, 1996.

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GAO discussed proposed amendments to the Single Audit Act of 1984 and the act's importance. GAO noted that: (1) Congress enacted the act in response to state and local governments' poor accounting practices and lack of accountability for federal funds; (2) audits were not uniform and some grantees were subjected to multiple annual audits while others were not audited for long periods of time; (3) state and local governments have greatly improved their accountability and financial management under the act; (4) proposed amendments would reduce administrative burdens on grantees who receive comparatively small amounts by raising audit thresholds so that audit coverage returns to the 95-percent level; (5) grantees below the thresholds would still have to maintain records and be subject to monitoring; (6) the amendments require the Office of Management and Budget to develop a risk-based approach to targeting audit resources at higher-risk programs; (7) the amendments' required summary reports would increase audit timeliness and usefulness; (8) shortening the audits' due date to 9 months from the fiscal year's close would also improve the audits' timeliness; (9) bringing nonprofit organizations under the act would subject all grantees to uniform requirements; and (10) the proposed amendments would make the single audits the basis for other audits.

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