GAO Plans To Issue Revised Yellow Book This Summer

April 11, 2018 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

GAO sealFor all those auditors and auditees out there who have waited seven years for the next revision of the Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS), also known as the Yellow Book, the wait may be over in the next couple of months. Yesterday, we attended a meeting with GAO officials and its 18-member GAGAS Advisory Council as they discussed proposed amendments to an exposure draft of the revised Yellow Book that GAO had released last spring. GAO said that it plans to take the information gleaned from its meeting with council members to finalize the document and publish a revision to the Yellow Book, hopefully around June 30.

Perhaps the most interesting topic of discussion during the meeting was an amendment made to provisions in the exposure draft on continuing professional education (CPE). Currently, the 2011 GAGAS requires that the auditors assigned to perform an audit under the Government Auditing Standards must collectively possess “adequate professional competence” needed to address the audit objectives and perform the work. Seeking to “promote greater proficiency” in GAGAS, the exposure draft introduced a new four-hour CPE requirement in GAGAS topics, required each time a new Yellow Book is issued.

The current Yellow Book states that auditors should maintain their professional competence and GAGAS qualification by completing at least 80 hours of CPE in every two-year period, with at least 24 hours of CPE that directly relates to government auditing, the government environment, or the specific or unique environment in which the audited entity operates, and at least an additional 56 hours of CPE that enhances the auditor’s professional proficiency to perform audits. In the exposure draft, the four hours that GAO had proposed that auditors take in GAGAS topics — either because it is an auditor’s first GAGAS engagement or because GAO has issued a new revision of GAGAS — would count toward the 24-hour government auditing requirement for that reporting cycle.

GAO officials told the advisory council that although comments related to CPE were generally supportive of auditors being knowledgeable in GAGAS topics, many commenters were concerned that the four-hour GAGAS requirement was not necessary and overly burdensome. Therefore, GAO proposed to eliminate the four-hour GAGAS qualification requirement and to retain the current requirements for 80 total hours of CPE in a two-year period, including 24 hours of government-related CPE. GAO officials told the advisory council that even though the GAGAS-specific training would no longer be addressed as a requirement, the revised Yellow Book would still include it as a recommendation. Council members were supportive of this update to the GAGAS revision, although some suggested more clarity to what constitutes as government-related CPE.

There were several other amendments to the exposure draft that GAO proposed the advisory council that were generally supported by the council. Upcoming articles in the Single Audit Information Service and on our Grants Compliance Expert website will keep subscribers up-to-date on the latest information on the revised Yellow Book and future implementation dates.

Let us know your thoughts on the GAO Yellow Book exposure draft and the CPE requirement. We’d love to hear from you.

As a reminder, we have all of our Federal Funding Training Forums scheduled for 2018. Please let me know if you have questions or can make any of these. We hope to see you there!

  • Monday April 16 – Wednesday April 18 in WASHINGTON, D.C.

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/dc/index.html?src=JMR

  • Wednesday May 1 – Friday May 4 in ST LOUIS

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/stlouis/index.html?src=AT

  • Wednesday July 25 – Friday July 27 in MINNEAPOLIS

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/minneapolis/index.html?src=AT

  • Wednesday October 17 – Friday October 19 in ATLANTA

http://www.federalgrantsforum.com/atlanta/index.html?src=AT

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