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About State Government Audits

Types of state government audits and reports

The State Auditor’s Office (SAO) is responsible for performing a range of audits at the state government level.

Accountability audits

An accountability audit evaluates whether a state agency has adhered to applicable federal or state laws, rules, and its own policies and procedures. The process includes auditing records to ensure public funds are accounted for and internal controls are in place to protect public resources from misappropriation and misuse.

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR)

We perform an independent audit of the State’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) in accordance with Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards. The outcome of this audit affects the state’s credit and bond ratings. Audited financial statements are required for our state to issue bonds.

Financial statement audits

We contract with institutions of higher education and state agencies to provide financial opinions under Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards. We contract with the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I), the Office of Financial Management (OFM), the Department of Ecology and others to audit their stand-alone financial statements or financial schedules on other post-employment benefits. These audits are conducted upon request. Likewise, audits of higher education institutions are conducted to meet accreditation standards.

State of Washington Single Audit Report (SWSA)

We conduct a single audit for the state of Washington every year. A single audit examines whether a government has implemented good internal controls over, and materially complies with, federal requirements. The audit also determines whether the state properly accounts for federal funds. The SWSA is published annually by OFM.

Learn more

Find out more about state government audit services with this short, online presentation that describes our role and responsibility in auditing and investigating state government agencies.

Audit resources from other state agencies

Washington’s state agencies have resources available to help them properly manage administrative, accounting and financial matters.