Local Government : Accountability Audits

What is an accountability audit?

An accountability audit assesses how local governments manage, use and safeguard public resources. It evaluates whether there is reasonable assurance the local government adhere to applicable state laws, regulations and its own policies and procedures. Additionally, records are audited to ensure public funds are accounted for and controls are in place to protect public resources from misappropriation and misuse.

Our objective is to detect and report on significant misappropriation, misuse or loss of public funds and non-compliance with laws and regulations relating to financial matters.  We also identify and report on weaknesses in internal controls governing financial operations.

Which governments are required to receive accountability audits?

By state statute (RCW 43.09.260) the State Auditor is required to examine the financial affairs of all local governments at least once every three years.

How to prepare for an accountability audit

Read about how to prepare for an Accountability audit on the page Auditing Resources : Accountability. Contact your Local Audit Team to discuss your local government's audit requirements and receive answers to any questions you may have.

Applying best practices can help ensure success

The State Auditor's Office created the Local Government Performance Center to help local governments evaluate programs and services, improve results and communicate with citizens. The Center provides online tools and offers in-person training courses, workshops and technical assistance.

Also, visit the page on fraud prevention for more advice on setting up internal controls that help prevent fraud and misappropriation of government funds.

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