Types of Audits

The UW is subject to many different types of Audits, both internal and external.

Internal audits are managed and conducted by the  Internal Audit department.

External audits are conducted by agencies that are outside of the UW and fall into two broad categories:

Washington State Audits:  As the UW is an entity of the State of Washington, UW is subject to any audits that are both conducted by the State and conducted on the State.   

Sponsor Audits:  Any Sponsor who provides funding under a Sponsored Award has the right to conduct an audit of that Award.  All Sponsored Awards are managed by the UW Internal Audit department.  If a department is contacted directly by a Sponsor regarding an audit, the department should direct the Sponsor to Internal Audit.

Federal Government’s Single Audit

The federal government requires (per 2 CFR 200.500) that any entity that expends more than $750,000 in federal funds within the entity’s fiscal year must have what the federal government refers to as a “Single Audit” completed.  As the UW is part of the State of Washington, the State of Washington is subject to this Single Audit requirement.  Thus, the Single Audit of the UW is part of the overall federal audit of the State of Washington.

External sponsors may request a copy of the UW’s Single Audit.  When such a request is made, Sponsors should be direct to the State of Washington website where Single Audits are maintained:

https://www.ofm.wa.gov/accounting/financial-audit-reports/single-audit-report

Note:  The Single Audit used to be called the “A-133 Audit” (named after the OMB circular which published the requirements.  If a Sponsor requests a copy of the UW’s “A-133 Audit” they should be given the most recent Single Audit for the State of Washington as described above.

Guidelines for being Audit Ready

The following information should be used by departments to ensure they are ready for an audit:

  • Create and maintain documented Internal Controls.  Auditors want to see that you have procedures documented and that the project staff follows them.
  • Ensure that all purchase receipts and supporting documentation are in one place and can be linked to the expense transaction.
  • Ensure that each expense transaction can stand alone. This means that anyone can read the documentation and confirm that it is reasonable, allowable, allocable, and consistently treated. 
  • Keep organized and complete accounting, contract, and project files.
  •  Ensure that all Cost Transfers are documented; information in MyFD should be complete and support the reason for the Cost Transfer.  
  • Ensure that bids and consultant contracts are on file in the appropriate place.
  • Keep list of personnel authorized to approve expenses.
  • Resolve issues when they arise, do not wait for an audit or Award end.
  • See also: Internal Audit's webpage on the Audit Process.

Best Practices in an Audit

In the event of an audit, the following best practices should be followed:

  • Contact UW Internal Audit if you or your department are notified of an audit or contacted by an Auditor.
  • Be prompt in responding.
  • Keep original documentation on site; Auditors can have copies if they want to retain any documentation.
  • Only provide information that is asked for, do not elaborate.
  • Do not include office politics or other departmental issues in the response.
  • Only answer questions you know the answer to; do not hesitate to defer.
  • Do not return any documentation to archive/off site storage until the audit has been resolved.