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 FAQ's

Q: What is the Auditor of Public Accounts’ (APA) statutory authority?
Q: What type of audits are performed by the auditor’s office?
A: The auditor’s office conducts or directs a variety of engagements that include financial audits, agreed upon procedures, performance audits, and special examinations. These audits are performed for various state agencies, fiscal courts, sheriffs, county clerks, circuit clerks, property valuation administrators (PVA), and other agencies that receive public funding. The auditor’s office considers requests for audits from public officials, the general public, the legislative research commission, and the governor’s office.
Q: What is not audited or examined by the auditor’s office?
A: As stated in our statutes, the auditor’s office has authority to audit or examine public funds spent by state and local government agencies and other public organizations. Unless contracted to assist another agency with appropriate jurisdiction, the auditor’s office would not investigate the following:
  • Improper activities by federal officials
  • Improper activities of private citizens
  • Improper activities related to private agencies that do not receive public funds
  • Complaints regarding personal matters of private citizens
  • Tax fraud committed by an individual or corporation – Click here for the Revenue Cabinet: www.revenue.ky.gov/inv/
Q: Does your office audit income taxes?
A: No review of personal income tax returns is performed by the auditor’s office. Tax auditing is performed by the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
Q: How can I request an audit?
A: Most audits conducted by the auditor’s office are annual, statutorily required audits. However, additional audits, examinations, or agreed upon procedure engagements are performed as determined by the State Auditor. Agencies seeking an audit should send a request for audit to the;

Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts
209 St. Clair Street
Frankfort, KY 40601

You can also email the State Auditor at Mike.Harmon@ky.gov or the Assistant State Auditor at Alice.Wilson@ky.gov.
Q: How do I report a complaint of waste, fraud, or abuse?
A: Allegations of suspected waste, fraud, or abuse of public funds by a state, local, or any other publically funded agency can be submitted to the auditor's office through the auditor’s office’s SAFEhouse Website Link or by calling the State Auditor’s Hotline at 1 800 KY-ALERT (592-5378)
Q: Can I remain anonymous when reporting waste, fraud, or abuse to the auditor’s office?
A: You have the option of remaining anonymous when submitting allegations of suspected waste, fraud, or abuse to the auditor’s office. A tracking number will be provided to the individual to report additional information or receive messages regarding the status of your allegation.
Q: What is Kentucky’s Whistleblower Statute?
A: For the specific statute, refer to KRS 61.102 (www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/061-00/120.pdf)
Q: How much information do I have to provide when reporting an allegation of suspected waste, fraud or abuse?
A: Specifically identify who, what, when, where, why and the amount and type of funds involved regarding the suspected allegation. With more detailed information provided, the office can better determine what action should be taken to address the allegation.
Q: What if specific information is not provided when reporting an allegation of waste, fraud or abuse?
A: An investigation will not be conducted without sufficient information or merit. Therefore, information is needed to corroborate your complaint such as documents, witnesses, and other specific information.
Q: How can I obtain a copy of a report issued by the auditor’s office?
A: Most reports issued by the auditor’s office are available online through the auditor’s office website link. Other reports, such as those performed for or on behalf of another agency, are not published on the auditor’s office's website but are available upon request from the auditor’s office's Open Records Administrator at Auditor.ORR@ky.gov.
Q: What is a financial audit?
A: Financial audits performed by the auditor’s office's are audits of the financial statements of state agencies, local governments, component units and other organizations. The largest financial audits performed by the auditor’s office's include the audits of the state agencies in the Commonwealth's Annual Financial Report (CAFR), and the largest volume of financial audits are those conducted for county governments, including fiscal courts, sheriffs, and county clerks.
Q: What are the Auditing Standards?
A: Auditing Standards are requirements that must be followed in conducting an audit. In every audit, the Independent Auditor’s Report states the standards followed for that specific audit. The most commonly used standards in audits conducted by the auditor’s office include Statements on Auditing Standards (SASs) promulgated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA); Government Auditing Standards (GAS) promulgated by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO); and U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Circular A-133 for performing single audits related to major federal program compliance.
Q: What is the CAFR?
A: CAFR is the acronym for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. This report contains the Commonwealth's basic financial statements, as well as combining statements and statistical information. The auditor’s office is the primary auditor of the Commonwealth’s CAFR, although other Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firms perform portions of the audit by providing opinions on the financial statements of component units and certain funds.
Q: I could not locate the CAFR on the auditor’s office's website. Where can I obtain it?
A. Although the auditor’s office provides the audit opinion for the CAFR, the report is published by the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet (FAC). The report is located online at finance.ky.gov/ourcabinet/caboff/ooc/ofm/debt/cafr.htm.
Q: What is a component unit?
A. A component unit is a legally separate organization which has such a close relationship with another organization that it must be included in that organization’s reporting entity to avoid misleading or incomplete financial statements. The close relationship can be caused by a fiscal reliance or significant operational influence between the two organizations.
Q: What is a single audit?
A. Single audit is the extension of an entity’s financial statement audit to include the audit of its major federal programs. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-133 dictates the requirements entities must follow in determining whether a single audit is necessary, and also the requirements for auditing and reporting the federal programs.

The Commonwealth’s single audit is the Single Statewide Audit of Kentucky (SSWAK). The SSWAK is issued in two volumes: SSWAK Volume I presents the auditor's opinion on the schedule of expenditures of federal awards, as well as findings related to the auditor’s office audit of the CAFR; SSWAK Volume II presents the auditor's opinion on and findings related to the audit of the Commonwealth's major federal programs.
Q: What is an AUP, and how is it different from an audit?
A: AUP is the acronym for an agreed-upon procedures engagement. Unlike audits, the scope of AUP engagements are agreed to or set by the agency's management.

"AUDIT SCOPE refers to the activities covered by an audit. Audit scope includes, where appropriate: audit objectives; nature and extent of auditing procedures performed; time period audited; and related activities not audited in order to delineate the boundaries of the audit." Per www.ventureline.com/accounting-glossary/A/audit-scope-definition/ with modification.
Q: What are performance audits?
A: Performance audits are conducted in accordance with generally accepted Government Auditing Standards. These audits are conducted to address a selected objective that can include determining the effectiveness or efficiency of a state program, whether the program is achieving its desired impact, and whether a program is complying with applicable laws and criteria. A list of performance audits conducted by the auditor’s office is provided on our online audit search page.
Q: What are special examinations?
A: Special examinations are conducted by the auditor’s office to examine allegations of suspected fraud, waste, or abuse. These examinations are designed to provide an assessment of the facts that were obtained during the examination. A list of special examinations audits conducted by the auditor’s office is provided on our online audit search page.
Q: What is IT auditing?
A: Information Technology (IT) auditing involves expressing a conclusion on the operation and effectiveness of general and application controls for designated computer systems. The work of the IT Auditors at the auditor’s office is primarily in support of the Financial Auditors. Therefore, those computer systems having a significant impact on the Commonwealth’s financial reporting or compliance with Federal guidelines are reviewed annually.
Q: How is an IT audit different from a financial statement audit?
A: While a financial statement audit's purpose is to evaluate whether an organization is adhering to standard accounting practices in the development and presentation of the financial statements of the organization, the purpose of an IT audit is to evaluate a computer system's internal control design and effectiveness. (From Wikipedia, with modifications…)

In accounting and auditing, internal control is defined as a process affected by an organization's structure, work and authority flows, people and management information systems, designed to help the organization accomplish specific goals or objectives. It is a means by which an organization's resources are directed, monitored, and measured. It plays an important role in preventing and detecting fraud and protecting the organization's resources, both physical (e.g., machinery and property) and intangible (e.g., reputation or intellectual property such as trademarks). (From Wikipedia, with modifications…)
Q: Do you perform IT audits of local governments?
A: Not on a routine basis. The IT Auditor’s primary function is to assist with the audit of statewide financial records; therefore, IT audits are typically performed for systems residing at the state level rather than at the local government level. Occasionally, the IT Audit group is requested to perform audit procedures at local governments in support of another auditor’s office audit initiative or special examination.
Q: What are the Open Records and Open Meetings requirements?
A: Refer to the Attorney General’s website on these issues at ag.ky.gov/civil/orom/
Q: What are other hotlines or audit entities that could be contacted for specific issues?
Q: What are the requirements to be an auditor at the auditor’s office?
A: The auditor’s office posts vacancies through the Kentucky Personnel Cabinet at www.personnel.ky.gov. Applicants for financial audit positions must have a bachelor's degree, with at least 20 semester hours in accounting. This and all other requirements will be included in the position posting on the Personnel Cabinet’s website.
Q: Does the auditor’s office ever contract with other CPAs to perform audits?
A: The auditor’s office does contract with other CPAs to perform audits. The auditor’s office identifies audits for contract, and issues a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek qualified firms. The auditor’s office performs procedures to monitor the timing and quality of these contracted audits.