Sneak Preview: GAO Seeks Stakeholder Comments On Yellow Book Exposure Draft

April 27, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

xsass_bookshot(The following was excerpted from a recent article in the Single Audit Information Service.) The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released an exposure draft containing proposed revisions to the Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), also known as the Yellow Book. Among the expanded discussions and new requirements or guidance addressed in the draft is a new continuing professional education (CPE) requirement for auditors conducting engagements on GAGAS topics.

Exposure drafts, in general, refer to a type of document to solicit input from stakeholders and the general public. GAO is accepting stakeholder comments on the exposure draft through July 6. Of note, the document contains a list of discussion items for which GAO is seeking particular comments. Comments should be sent to GAO at

After the comment period deadline, GAO and the 18-member GAGAS Advisory Council will review the comments before issuing a final revised version of the Yellow Book. GAGAS was most recently revised in 2011.

GAO officials have proposed to reorganize and realign the chapters in the Yellow Book and have attempted to clarify what is considered an audit requirement as opposed to audit guidance. In the exposure draft, Chapter 1 addresses the types of GAGAS engagements and Chapter 2 contains general requirements for complying with GAGAS. Ethical principles and independence requirements are combined into a single chapter (Chapter 3), as are competence and CPE requirements (Chapter 4). Chapter 5 covers quality control and peer review.

GAO also sought to mirror GAGAS with standards from other national and international audit organizations such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. In addition, supplemental guidance that was included in the appendix in the 2011 version is either removed from or incorporated within the proposed document.

(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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