Magazine article The CPA Journal

Single Audits

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Single Audits

Article excerpt

SINGLE AUDITS By Rhett D. Harrell Aspen Publishers, Inc.; 620 pages; $225 paperback; ISBN: 0735532788

Single Audits is one of several books published by Aspen Publishers' Law & Business Division in its ongoing Miller Series. The book includes a CD-ROM with several aids that can be integrated into a firm's workpapers. The Miller Engagement Guides work with ePaceENGAGEMENT to achieve a paperless audit workflow. A self-study CPE course is available for a recommended 10 credit hours. The book is written to an intermediate level and best used by a practitioner with a basic understanding of Government Auditing Standards and OMB Circular A-133. It is an excellent supplementary reference source to official pronouncements for first-time auditors in these areas.

For the novice, the book starts with a feirly comprehensive chapter introducing the single-audit process and reviewing the basic concepts of the three levels of auditing standards: Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, Government Auditing Standards, and Single Audit Requirements. A chapter is devoted to each level, including additional requirements for fieldwork and reporting. The OMB A-133 summary includes a brief but useful single-audit history, giving the reader a good perspective on how the existing standards were formulated.

The remaining detailed discussion of performing a single audit will be more practical for experienced practitioners in their everyday work. The author includes in-depth interpretations and practical guidance on audit planning, determining major programs, evaluating internal controls, testing compliance, and audit reporting results. A separate chapter on sampling outlines several strategies that could be applied to single audits.

Single Audits' strength lies in how the author explains the concepts and requirements of A-133 and the Compliance Supplements, and integrates these concepts into a practical audit approach. There are many useful suggestions for structuring audit programs, designing tests, and documenting the work performed. The approach to documenting internal controls is insightful. Harrell has created a worksheet that asks the auditor to identify at least one control for each of the five internal control components for every compliance requirement that must be tested. …

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