Updating Government Auditing Standards – The 2017 Yellow Book Exposure Draft

Yellow Book icon Today we issued an exposure draft containing proposed updates to Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, also known as the “Yellow Book.” We invite your comments on the proposed changes, which reflect developments in the accounting and auditing profession.

The Yellow Book is the book of standards and guidance for auditors and audit organizations, outlining the requirements for audit reports, professional qualifications for auditors, and audit organization quality control. Auditors of federal, state, and local government programs use these standards to perform their audits and produce their reports.

Today’s WatchBlog discusses the proposed updates, and explains how you can help!

Proposed 2017 Revisions

The Yellow Book helps auditors hold the organizations they audit accountable. It contains requirements relating to auditor ethics and independence, auditors’ professional judgment and competence, quality control, performance of the audit, and reporting.

The 2017 Yellow Book Exposure Draft represents a modernized version of the standards. Some of the key proposed changes include:

  • a new format that differentiates requirements from application guidance
  • updated internal control requirements and guidance
  • revised continuing professional education requirements to ensure greater auditor proficiency in Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards
  • revised peer review requirements for audit organizations that also comply with peer review requirements of affiliated organizations
  • new requirements for reporting waste that is detected during an audit

Yellow Book revisions undergo an extensive process, including consideration of all public comments and input from the Yellow Book Advisory Council—made up of experts from federal, state, and local governments; the private sector; and academia.

How Do I Comment?

The 2017 Yellow Book Exposure Draft is available on our Yellow Book webpage. Please send your comment letters to our Yellow Book Comments inbox, YellowBookComments@gao.gov, no later than July 6, 2017.

We encourage all interested parties to comment on the draft. The comment period runs from April 5, 2017 through July 6, 2017, and we’ll be posting all comment letters to our Yellow Book webpage as they’re received and reviewed.

We look forward to hearing from you!


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