Audits

The City Services Auditor performs audits of City departments, agencies, services, and contractors and nonprofits that receive City funding. Our goals are to ensure efficient, effective, and accountable government and to support informed policy decisions by providing timely information in high-quality, reliable reports.


Professional Auditing Standards

We conduct our audits in accordance with the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). These standards require:

  • Independence of audit staff and the audit organization
  • Objectivity of the auditors performing the work
  • Competent staff, including continuing professional education
  • Quality control procedures to provide reasonable assurance of compliance with the auditing standards

Types of Audits

Performance audits provide information to improve operations and facilitate decision making by parties with responsibility to oversee or initiate corrective action and improve public accountability.

Financial audits provide reasonable assurance about whether financial statements are presented fairly in all material aspects in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles.

Attestation engagements examine, review, or perform procedures on a broad range of subjects such as internal controls; compliance with requirements of specified laws, regulations, rules, contracts, or grants; and the reliability of performance measures.

Audit Process

The audit process typically consists of three phases:

Planning: Auditors obtain background information by reviewing written procedures, governing laws and regulations, organization charts, and financial information on the program or activity being audited. We collect, summarize, and evaluate this information to identify where to focus our audit efforts and develop an audit program that includes audit objectives and the specific procedures the auditors will carry out to address those objectives.

Field Work: Auditors identify criteria against which to measure performance and gather and analyze information (audit evidence) to measure and evaluate performance. We summarize our results in the form of audit findings, which include five elements:

  • Condition (what is)
  • Criteria (what should be)
  • Cause (why did it happen)
  • Effect (why does it matter)
  • Recommendations (how to fix or prevent it from happening)

Report Writing: The audit team prepares a draft audit report and holds an exit conference with management of the audited entity to review the findings, most of which the audit team would have already discussed with management during field work. We conduct an internal quality control process to verify that each statement of fact in the report is supported in the audit working papers. We provide a copy of the draft report to management to give them an opportunity to provide feedback and a written response indicating their concurrence or noncurrence with the recommendations and an implementation plan. The final audit report includes management's response. Audit reports are public documents.