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"Each audit organization performing audits in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards must have an external peer review performed by reviewers independent of the audit organization being reviewed at least once every 3 years."

Government Auditing Standards, Section 3.82b

The external peer review should determine whether, during the period under review, the reviewed audit organization's internal quality control system was adequate and whether quality control policies and procedures were being complied with to provide the audit organization with reasonable assurance of conforming with applicable professional standards. Audit organizations should take remedial, corrective actions as needed based on the results of the peer review.

The State Auditor's Office meets this requirement through participation in the National State Auditors Association's (NSAA) Peer Review Review Program.

National State Auditors Association

The National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT) is an organization for state officials who deal with the financial management of state government. The NSAA is an associate organization of NASACT, and its mission is to unite state auditors by "encouraging and providing opportunities for the free exchange of information and ideas between auditors on the state, federal and local levels."

NSAA has a Quality Control Review Program that enables members to be reviewed by an established network of external or "peer" reviewers from other states. NSAA's peer reviews are conducted in accordance with policies and procedures developed by the NSAA External Quality Control Review Committee and approved by NSAA members. NSAA also has coordinated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to adapt portions of its copyrighted peer review program materials to fit the NSAA model.

Process and Significance of Peer Review

Peer review teams travel on site to review each peer agency’s internal quality control systems. Each review team identifies a sample of audits performed during the review period and evaluates the audit documentation used to support these audits. The teams determine, based on their evaluation, whether the agency’s overall quality control system should receive a pass, pass with deficiency(ies), or fail. Pass is the highest rating an audit organization can receive from the NSAA review team.

Most Recent Peer Review

The State Auditor's Office's most recent external quality control review was conducted in September 2021 and covered audits that issued reports from September 1, 2020, through August 31, 2021. The State Auditor's Office received a rating indicating the highest degree of compliance with auditing standards, which is evidence of the quality and professionalism of the State Auditor's Office's audit staff. To read the peer review team's report on the State Auditor's Office (pdf) .

The SAO's next Peer Review is scheduled for 2024.

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