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Yellow Book: Government Auditing Standards Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), also known as the Yellow Book, provides the preeminent standards for government auditing.

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About The Yellow Book

Auditors of government entities and entities that receive government awards use our Government Auditing Standards, commonly referred to as generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS) or the Yellow Book, to perform their audits and produce their reports. The Yellow Book contains standards for financial audits, attestation engagements, and performance audits as well as specific requirements for individual auditors and audit organizations.

Yellow Book Revisions

The 2018 Yellow Book is effective until implementation of the 2024 Yellow Book. The 2024 Yellow Book is effective for financial audits, attestation engagements, and reviews of financial statements for periods beginning on or after December 15, 2025, and for performance audits beginning on or after December 15, 2025. A system of quality management that complies with the Yellow Book is required to be designed and implemented by December 15, 2025, and an audit organization should complete an evaluation of the system of quality management by December 15, 2026. Early implementation of the 2024 Yellow Book is permitted.

View the 2018 Yellow Book View the 2024 Yellow Book

The 2018 and 2024 Yellow Books are also available in a digital format.

View the 2018 Digital Yellow Book  View the 2024 Digital Yellow Book 

Printed Copies

Copies of the 2018 Yellow Book can be purchased online through the Government Publishing Office at GPO Bookstore- Government Auditing Standards- 2018 Revision with 2021 Technical Update or by calling 202-512-1800 or 1-866-512-1800.

Copies of the 2024 Yellow Book will be available for purchase at a later date through the Government Publishing Office at or by calling 202-512-1800 or 1-866-512-1800.

Amendments & Interpretive Guidance

At this time, there are no amendments or interpretive guidance for Government Auditing Standards.

Previous Yellow Book Publications

COVID-19 Updates

  • In August 2020, we issued an alert on general audit considerations related to COVID-19. Certain areas may need increased attention during audits due to the circumstances of the pandemic, such as identifying fraud risks. View Alert (PDF, 8 pages)
  • In May 2020, we issued an alert that would allow more time and flexibility for auditors to complete continuing professional education (CPE) requirements during the pandemic. View Alert (PDF, 6 pages)

Performance Audit Discussion Paper

In April 2021, we issued a discussion paper that provides illustrative examples of how auditors can assess effectiveness, efficiency, economy, ethics, and equity in performance audits. View paper (PDF, 6 pages)

Advisory Council

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 drawn from:

  • federal, state, and local government;
  • the private sector; and
  • academia.

Advisory Council members serve 4-year terms and may be reappointed by the Comptroller General.

Advisory Council Members, 2022-2026

Name Organization

Erica Forhan,

Moss Adams LLP
David Berry Inspector General
National Labor Relations Board
Irving L. Dennis Board Member and Treasurer
American Cornerstone Institute
Renee Flasher Assistant Professor of Accounting
Penn State Harrisburg
Cathy Helm Inspector General (retired)
Smithsonian Institution
Nick Hart President
Data Foundation
Lindsey D. Oakley Partner
Timothy M. O’Brien Denver Auditor
City and County of Denver
Kerrey M. Olden Partner
April Renfro Legislative Auditor/Division Manager
State of Idaho, Legislative Services Office – Audit Division
Doug A. Ringler Auditor General
State of Michigan
Brianna Schletz Inspector General
U.S. Election Assistance Commission
Corrie Stokes City Auditor
City of Austin
Lorin Venable Assistant Inspector General for Audit
U.S. Department of Defense
Theresa Watson Audit Manager, Internal Audit
City of Houston

GAO Contacts

For technical assistance regarding the Yellow Book, please call (202) 512-9535 or email