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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Post-Payment Audits, Fiscal 2011 First and Second Quarter Post-Payment Audits
Audit Process Overview

A state agency may request the Comptroller of Public Accounts (Comptroller’s office) to pay a claim against the agency only by submitting the appropriate payment voucher to the Comptroller’s office. TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN. 404.046, 404.069, 2103.003, 2103.0035, 2103.004 (Vernon 2008). State law prohibits the Comptroller’s office from paying a claim against a state agency unless the Comptroller’s office audits the corresponding voucher. TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. 403.071(a) (Vernon Supp. 2009), 403.078 2103.004(a)(3) (Vernon 2008).

State law allows the Comptroller’s office to audit a payment voucher before or after the Comptroller’s office makes a payment in response to that voucher. TEX. GOV’T CODE ANN. 403.071(g)-(h) (Vernon Supp. 2009). In addition, state law authorizes the Comptroller’s office to conduct pre-payment or post-payment audits on a sample basis. TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN. 403.011(a)(13), 403.079 (Vernon 2008).

The Expenditure Audit section of the Comptroller’s office Department of Statewide Fiscal Services conducts these audits.

Audit objectives

The primary objectives of a post-payment audit are as follows. First, ensure that payments are documented so that a proper audit can be conducted. Second, ensure that payment vouchers are processed according to the requirements of the uniform statewide accounting system and/or the uniform statewide payroll/personnel system. Third, verify that payments are made in accordance with certain applicable state laws. Fourth, verify that assets are in their intended location and are properly recorded in the State Property Accounting system. Fifth, verify that the voucher signature cards and systems security during the audit period were consistent with applicable laws, rules, and other requirements.


The expenditure audit section uses generally recognized sampling techniques to conduct a post-payment audit. The computer audit menu system software is used to generate a stratified random sample of payment vouchers for the audit, with a confidence level of 95 percent. The vouchers are audited in detail, and the results of the audit are projected to estimate the amount of claims that were unsubstantiated or improperly paid.

Field Work

Each auditor in the expenditure audit section is required to approach the field work phase of each audit with an appropriate level of professional skepticism based upon the results of the initial planning procedures. If an auditor suspects during an audit that fraud, defalcations, or intentional misstatement of the facts has occurred, then the auditor will meet with his or her supervisor or the Statewide Fiscal Services manager, or both, to decide what course of action or additional procedures would be appropriate.


Each auditor audits the payment vouchers included in a sample according to established policies and procedures. The audit findings are reported to the audited agency in the form of a report.

The audit report discloses the total dollar amount of any unsubstantiated payments or overpayments noted in the sample. In addition, the report shows the result of projecting those payments to the appropriate population. Finally, the report includes recommendations and requirements for the audited agency.

Each auditor discusses the management issues noted during the audit at the exit and includes details of these issues to the chief fiscal officer shortly after the exit.

Glenn Hegar
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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