Do I Need A Single Audit?

Author:Mr Paul Stumbaugh
Profession:Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams

If your organization is receiving Federal awards, you may be required to have a single audit. How do you know if you are required to have one? And just what is a single audit anyway?

The Office of Management and Business (OMB) issued Circular A-133, Audits of States, Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations to establish the requirements for audits of non-Federal entities that expend Federal awards. Referencing a few important points found in the guidelines will help determine if your organization needs a single audit.

Three main groups of entities may be required to have a single audit:

Recipient - A recipient directly receives and spends Federal awards from a Federal entity; Pass-Through Entity - A pass-through entity receives Federal awards and disperses them to other entities to carry out Federal programs; and Subrecipient - A subrecipient receives Federal funds from pass-through entities. If your entity falls under one of these three groups, and you expend $500,000 or more in a year in Federal awards, you are required to have a single audit. An important detail to observe is that this threshold is based on expenses and not revenue.

This leads an organization to answer two important questions: When is an award expended, and what counts as an expense?

According to OMB Circular A-133, an award is considered expended when the activity related to the award occurs. For example, if you are receiving a Federal award to educate lower income children, the award is...

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