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Glenn Hegar  ·  Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

Audit Process Overview: Fiscal 2013 Fourth Quarter Post-Payment Audits

Post-payment audits are conducted by The Expenditure Audit section of the Comptroller’s Statewide Fiscal Services department.

Audit objectives

The primary objectives of a post-payment audit are to:

  • Ensure payments are documented so a proper audit can be conducted.
  • Ensure payment vouchers are processed according to the requirements of the Uniform Statewide Accounting System (USAS) and/or the Uniform Statewide Payroll/Personnel System (USPS).
  • Verify payments are made in accordance with certain applicable state laws.
  • Verify assets are in their intended location and are properly recorded in the State Property Accounting System (SPA).
  • Verify voucher signature cards and systems security during the audit period were consistent with applicable laws, rules and other requirements.

Comptroller’s office responsibilities / Supporting statute

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.

Texas Government Code, Sections 404.046, 404.069 (Vernon 2005), 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.

Texas Government Code, Sections 403.071(a) (Vernon Supp. 2010), 403.078 (Vernon 2005), 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.

Texas Government Code, Section 403.071(g)-(h) (Vernon Supp. 2010).

In addition, state law authorizes the Comptroller’s office to conduct pre-payment or post-payment audits on a sample basis.

Texas Government Code, Sections 403.011(a)(13), 403.079 (Vernon 2005), 2155.324 (Vernon 2008).

Methodology

  • 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 projected to estimate the amount of claims that were unsubstantiated or improperly paid.

Fieldwork

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, 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.

Reporting

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.
  • Shows the result of projecting those payments to the appropriate population.
  • 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
Questions? Contact statewide.accounting@cpa.texas.gov
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