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An Audit Agency is a federal, state, or local governmental office providing external auditing services. External audits consist of financial audits, pricing reviews, on-site audits, operational audits, special audits, and ascertaining compliance with SOX – amongst other services offered.
Examples of Audit Agencies include: Defense Contract Audit Agency with the Department of Defense, Air Force Audit Agency of the Office of Naval Research, U.S. Army Audit Agency, Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Health & Human Services.
Audits are done, on the average, annually with the exception of special audits. These audits are done on an as-needed basis as determined by unplanned circumstances.
The oversight of Audit Agency auditors, when on-site, usually rests with the Internal Auditing Department of the entity being audited.
Auditors working for Audit Agencies must comply with Generally Accepted Governmental Accounting Standards (GAGAS), as published by the General Accountability Office. They, therefore, must be competent and current on the current regulations regarding governmental accounting.
Auditors working with Audit Agencies run the gamut from staff auditors to Audit Directors - and a variety of positions in between.
An Audit Agency is usually one of the State options available for obtaining CPA licensure. Instead of working in public accounting, many states offer an alternative of working in governmental accounting as an auditor. If you are interested in working for an Audit Agency to work towards your CPA designation, contact your State Board of Accountancy for a list of qualifying organizations.