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Tips for schedule of findings and questioned costs

by The NonProfit Times - July 18, 2011

Exceptions or deviations that are discovered in an audit can’t be just hmm’d over; they require action, usually a response by management, as well as a corrective action plan.

At the 2011 AICPA Not-For-Profit Conference, Kimberly K. McCormick, a partner with Grant Thornton LLP, offered a refresher on audit findings. McCormick said that the following considerations should be in mind for audit findings:

  • Write from the perspective of a federal agency.
  • Too much is better than too little.
  • Be specific, particularly in criteria and condition.
  • Try not to repeat yourself in the condition, effect and cause elements.
  • Be practical with recommendations.
  • Evaluate Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-133 findings for Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) applicability.
  • When a finding is both GAGAS and A-133, report only once with a cross-reference.
  • Consider the effect of findings on opinions.

Further, McCormick offered the following tips for a Schedule of Findings and Questioned Costs (SFQC):

  • Educate staff and partners about the importance of the schedule.
  • Include a “cold” review as part of the reporting procedures to review the SFQC and major program work.
  • Start with a blank “pro forma” of the SFQC.
  • Add a procedure to compare the listings of major programs in the SFQC to the audit documentation.
  • Include a ‘double check” of the SFQC during the final quality control review of the single audit report to identify errors before issuance.

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