a. Uniform Guidance: Institutional Audits
The federal standards outlined in the Uniform Guidance (Subpart F - Audit Requirements) are intended to help the various federal funding agencies conduct consistent and uniform audits of state and local agencies and non-profit organizations, including universities, that are receiving and expending federal funding awarded through grant and contract awards. Under the Uniform Guidance (200.501 - Audit requirements) the University must undergo a single audit of both the financial statement and federal awards as long as the University's federal expenditures total $500,000 or more for a given year. The scope of the required audit includes:
The auditor shall determine whether the auditee's financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects, in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. The auditor shall also determine whether the schedule of expenditures of Federal awards is presented fairly in all material respects in relation to the auditee's financial statements taken as a whole.
The auditor shall perform procedures to obtain an understanding of internal control over Federal programs sufficient to plan the audit to support a low assessed level of control risk for major programs.
The auditor shall determine whether the institution has complied with all laws, regulations, and grant and contract provisions that may have a direct and material effect on each of its major programs. The institution must, for each federal program identified by an individual program number within the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) as well as the clusters of agency- and type-specific programs not assigned a CFDA number, ensure compliance in the following areas:
- Activities Allowed or Unallowed
- Allowable Costs/Cost Principles
- Cash Management
- Davis-Bacon Act
- Equipment and Real Property Management
- Matching, Level of Effort, Earmarking
- Period of Availability of Federal Funds
- Procurement and Suspension and Debarment
- Program Income
- Real Property Acquisition and Relocation Assistance
- Subrecipient Monitoring
- Special Tests and Provisions
Institutions (such as The University of Iowa), which expend more than $50 million per year in federal awards, are assigned, for audit purposes, a cognizant federal agency -- a role assigned to whichever federal agency awards the most direct funding to that institution. (See the Uniform Guidance: 200.513 - Responsibilities). Since The University of Iowa receives the most direct federal funding from Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the DHHS serves as the UI's cognizant audit agency.
An acceptable Auditor is a public accountant or a federal, state, or local government audit organization that meets the general standards specified in generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS). (See the Uniform Guidance: 200.7 - Auditor). The Office of Auditor of State for the State of Iowa qualifies to conduct, and does conduct, the audit of The University of Iowa, as mandated by the Uniform Guidance.
b. Uniform Guidance: Program-Specific Audits
Most specific awards programs (often called "funding opportunities"), both federal and private, include terms and conditions that allow the sponsor to audit the financial records of a sponsored project. This may involve an interim review and/or complete audit of all expenditures after the project's completion. (See the Uniform Guidance: 200.507 - Program-specific audits)