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Audit Process Overview: Post-Payment Audits

Post-payment audits are conducted by the Expenditure Audit section of the Comptroller’s Statewide Fiscal Oversight 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 either:
    • The Uniform Statewide Payroll/Personnel System (USPS),
    • The Standardized Payroll/Personnel Report System (SPRS) or
    • The Human Resource Information System (HRIS).
  • Verify payments are made in accordance with certain applicable state laws.
  • Verify assets are in their intended locations.
  • Verify assets are properly recorded for agencies and institutions of higher education that use the State Property Accounting (SPA) System.
  • 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 Texas 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, 2103.003, 2103.0035, 2103.004.

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), 403.078, 2103.004(a)(3).

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).

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, 2155.324.


The Expenditure Audit section uses one or more of the following generally recognized auditing techniques to conduct a post-payment audit:

  • Detailed audit (100 percent of a given population)
  • Stratified random sampling
  • Randomly generated sampling
  • Non-probability sampling
  • Limited sampling


Each auditor in the Expenditure Audit section is required to approach the fieldwork 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 Oversight manager, or both, to decide what course of action or additional procedures would be appropriate.


Each auditor audits payment vouchers 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 audit.
  • 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.