Auditing Resources : Financial Audits

The basis of accounting described in an entity's financial statements and the auditor's report is the criteria used for audit. Different bases of accounting may be used by different Washington governments, including:

  • Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) for governments, issued by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).
  • A cash basis of accounting presented in conformity with the Budget, Accounting and Reporting Standards manual (BARS), issued by the State Auditor's Office in accordance with RCW 43.09.200. The manual includes example financial statements and notes.
  • A modified accrual basis of accounting presented in conformity with the Accounting Manual for School Districts issued by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in accordance with WAC 392-123-010. The manual also contains information on the cash basis and GAAP methods of accounting.

Our financial audits are performed in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), published by the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO). These standards fully incorporate Generally Accepted Auditing Standards (GAAS) published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The most current standards are available on AICPA's website.

Additional information

Our website has a page of links describing best practices for financial accounting and reporting.

Equipment Rental and Revolving (ER&R) Fund Guidance (pdf, 166kb) This is a reference guide on the formation and basic operations of Equipment and Rental & Revolving (ER&R) funds. The guide contains answers to common questions and discusses common issues encountered during audits of ER&R funds.

Alternative measurement methods for Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) reporting (pdf, 48kb) This letter describes an alternative method for measuring Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) liability for GAAP financial reports.

​The guidance on this page is relevant to Local Government : Financial Audits as well as State Government : Financial Audits.

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