The federal government provides an extensive array of assistance to state and local governments each year. This assistance is provided through thousands of individual federal grants and awards that are given for the purpose of benefiting the general public in the areas of education, health, public safety, welfare, and public works, among others.
As a condition of receiving this federal assistance, state and local governments (recipients) must comply with applicable federal and state laws and regulations, as well as the particular provisions tied to the specific assistance.
State and local governments that expend more than $500,000 in federal assistance during the year are required to have a financial and compliance audit of all of their federal grant dollars. This audit is known as a “Single Audit” and is intended to provide a cost-effective means for auditing the federal assistance dollars received by state and local governments. A single audit is conducted in lieu of multiple audits of individual federal assistance programs. The Single Audit is performed by a qualified, independent, certified public accounting (CPA) firm under the provisions of the Single Audit Act (and amendments thereto), Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133, and government auditing standards.
The Single Audit provides the federal government with assurance that the recipients of these monies have spent them properly for the purpose for which they were given. A Single Audit encompasses an examination of a recipient’s financial records, financial statements, federal award transactions and expenditures, the general management of its operations, internal control systems, and federal assistance it received during the year.
As a significant recipient of federal assistance monies, the County contracts for a Single Audit to be performed each year by the independent CPA firm that performs the regular financial audit of the County.