Audits of Local Governments: The Audit Process

Below is a brief overview of the audit process, highlighting some of the significant milestones of an audit. More detailed information can be found in: Understanding the Audit Process Brochure [pdf].

  1. Audit Selection: A risk assessment process precedes most Office of the New York State Comptroller (OSC) audits of local governments and school districts. A small number of OSC audits of local governments and school districts are mandated by law, including audits of local government entities authorized to issue debt to finance deficits or recent legislation requiring periodic audits of school districts and BOCES by OSC.
  2. Entrance Conference: The audit team discusses the audit process with local government management.
  3. Preliminary Audit Survey: The audit team conducts a survey of organizational and operational information before the major audit effort begins to develop a more complete understanding of the organization and the areas that will be audited.
  4. Fieldwork Phase: This is typically the longest phase of the audit. The examiner-in-charge supervises the day-to-day activities of the onsite audit team.
  5. Preliminary Audit Findings: The audit team and local government discuss each audit segment’s preliminary findings and conclusions.
  6. Exit Conference: Audit team members will schedule an exit conference with appropriate local government management to discuss a draft report of findings and recommendations. Local officials have the opportunity to clarify audit report issues.
  7. Responding to an OSC Audit Report: More detailed information can be found in our guidance Responding to an OSC Audit Report: Audit Responses and Corrective Action Plans and  Responding to an OSC Audit Report Brochure [pdf].