Facilitator Makes Auditing ‘Fun and Easy’

Single Audit CPE LogoTSABAA’s October bimonthly meeting featured a presentation by Leita Hart-Fanta called Single Audit Primer and Update. The title may sound dry, but the presentation was anything but.

Hart-Fanta told the group her goal was to make auditing fun and easy by transforming the complex topics of auditing standards, internal controls, risk assessment and report writing into information professionals can absorb and use.

The UT graduate — with a degree in Business Administration — is the author of Accounting Demystified, a book about basic accounting concepts. She is a Certified Public Accountant, a Certified Government Financial Manager and a Certified Government Audit Professional, and she is the founder of Yellowbook-CPE – a website of self-study courses for government auditors. (Yellow Book is the name given the Government Accountability Office’s Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards [GAGAS].)

Hart-Fanta said the sheer volume of information makes compliance audits seem more difficult than they are. She said the components of a single audit include:

  • Financial statements presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles
  • Schedule of Expenditures of Federal Awards (SEFA) is presented fairly and matches financial statements
  • Compliance:
    • Understand internal controls over compliance, assess control risk and perform tests of those controls
    • Compliance with laws, regulations and contracts

Auditors should ask three questions of a compliance item, according to Hart-Fanta:

  1. Is it a requirement of a major program?
  2. Is the compliance item applicable to the major program?
  3. Is the applicable compliance item significant?

Hart-Fanta showed attendees a step-by step process for the audit that starts with knowing the audited entity, choosing major programs to audit – and knowing those programs. She said four layers of criteria are applicable to each grant:

  1. Cross-cutting administrative rules
  2. Cross-cutting cost principles
  3. Program regulations
  4. Grant terms and conditions

Auditors must choose applicable compliance requirements of the audited program and assess inherent and control risks. The auditor then designs tests to ensure audit criteria are being met. Once reportable conditions are identified, the auditor can give his or her opinion and write up the findings.

Hart-Fanta said the last step is to complete the federal paperwork.

The handout for the presentation is available on the TSABAA website. Hart-Fanta is an experienced facilitator and keynote speaker. She was named an “Outstanding Presenter” by the Institute of Internal Auditors in 2014.

Hart-Fanta can be contacted at leita@yellowbook-cpe.com.

About the Author

Ann Fowler

Ann is a writer with the Comptroller’s Fiscal Management Division.

Ann Fowler can be contacted at: ann.fowler@cpa.texas.gov.