Sneak Preview: Audits to FAC Must Be in Open Format as of Jan. 2

November 21, 2014 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from an article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Federal Audit Clearinghouse (FAC) is alerting entities submitting single audits that starting next year, audit submissions to the FAC will be required to be in an unlocked and easily searchable electronic format, and must include a standard audit finding reference number.

The Office of Management and Budget’s uniform grant guidance states that federal awarding agencies and nonfederal entities should, whenever practicable, collect, transmit and store federal award-related information in open and machine-readable formats rather than in closed formats or on paper (§200.335). Therefore, the FAC is requiring that all FY 2014 and later audit submissions must be unlocked, unencrypted and in a text-searchable PDF format beginning Jan. 2, 2015, consistent with language in both the uniform grant guidance and the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), Pub. L. 113-101.

On its website, the FAC stressed that it cannot accept audits after Jan. 2, 2015, that do not meet these criteria. Entities that either scan in a physical copy of their audit reports or change the default security settings in their PDF creator may submit audits that ultimately are either locked or are not text-searchable, FAC warned. The clearinghouse site offers information on saving documents to PDFs.

The clearinghouse advised auditees that some pages may include pictures and graphics, and no text, so that they are not text-searchable. It recommended that in such cases, the auditee should remove these pages and resave the audit report as a PDF. For separator pages that are blank, it recommended that auditees insert the text, “This page intentionally left blank,” to make it text-searchable.

(The full version of this story has now been made available to all for a limited time on Thompson’s Grants Compliance Expert site).

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