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 outlines the requirements for audit reports, professional qualifications for auditors, and audit organization quality management.
Revising the Yellow Book
We are proposing a 2023 revision of the Yellow Book, which updates Chapter 5: Quality Control and Peer Review. The proposed revision reflects enhancements to strengthen an audit organization’s framework for conducting high-quality engagements through its system of quality management. We are also proposing guidance to address key audit matters in financial audits.
We are seeking public comment on the exposure draft of this revision. The draft will be available for review from January 30, 2023 through April 28, 2023. Please send your comment letters to YellowBookComments@gao.gov no later than the end of the review period.
Yellow Book revisions undergo an extensive, deliberative process, including public comments and input from the Comptroller General's Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards. GAO considers all Yellow Book comments and input from the Comptroller General's Advisory Council on Government Auditing Standards when finalizing revisions to the standards. Read more in our press release.
Current Yellow Book
The 2018 Yellow Book is also available in a digital format.
The 2018 Yellow Book with the 2021 technical update 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.
Amendments & Interpretive Guidance
At this time, there are no amendments or interpretive guidance for the 2018 revision of Government Auditing Standards.
- 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)
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
Advisory Council members serve 4-year terms and may be reappointed by the Comptroller General.
Advisory Council Members, 2022-2026
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
|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 provides comments to other standard-setting organizations’ proposals in letter form. The comment letters discuss technical issues related to ethics, quality control, accounting, auditing, and attestation standards. By issuing comment letters, GAO promotes the development of high-quality government and private sector auditing standards, both domestically and internationally. Listed below are comment letters relating to auditing standards and other topics of interest to the accounting and auditing community.
Auditors may use the Yellow Book in conjunction with professional standards issued by GAO and other authoritative bodies. GAO also issues guidance on implementing and complying with standards.
Professional Standards Updates (PSU) summarize recently-issued standards of major auditing and accounting standard-setting bodies. These updates inform the Yellow Book user community of important changes to professional requirements. These updates do not establish new professional standards and do not reflect GAO's official views on these requirements. Users should refer to the original, authoritative standards for purposes of implementing the standards.
For technical assistance regarding the Yellow Book, please call (202) 512-9535 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.