About the Audit Process

What is a Operational Audit?

Operational audits provide objective analysis to assist management and those charged with governance and oversight in using the information to improve program performance and operations, reduce costs, facilitate decision making by parties with responsibility to oversee or initiate corrective action, and contribute to public accountability.

The Audit Process

Although every audit project is unique, the audit process is similar for most engagements and consists of nine major stages:


The audit process begins with planning the audit. During this phase, the audit team will perform the following:

  • Notify the department of audit approved by the Mayor and Commission with agenda report 
  • Schedule Entrance Conference with Department
  1. Review agenda report with the audit client
  2. Review the scope and audit objectives
  3. Discuss who should be interviewed with the department director
  • Develop a survey for the audit client
  • Prepare information request list; submit to the audit client, HR, and Finance Department
  • Receive an analyze survey results
  • Prepare audit questions
  • Receive and catalog documents submitted by departments
  • Revise audit scope as needed
  • Perform Risk Assessment*


The second phase of the audit is called fieldwork. During this phase, the audit team will physically be on-site at the audit client’s location, performing the audit. The following are some of the procedures generally performed during fieldwork.

  • Continue review of supporting documentation
  • Interview department personnel
  • Perform analyses
  • Identify anomalies 
  • Identify audit findings
  • Write recommendations for improvement
  • Schedule Exit Conference to review audit findings with the audit client; verify audit team interpreted data discovered during the audit correctly 


The third phase of the audit is reporting. Prepare the written audit report, which summarizes and communicates the audit results.

  • Issue a draft report
  • Audit client prepares written response and corrective action plan for findings 
  • Combine the draft report and management response
  • Issue final report
  • Report distribution:
    • Audit Client (Department)
    • Manager’s Office (if the department is under the manager’s purview)
  1. Audit Committee
  2. Mayor, full Commission, Clerk of Commission, and County Attorney
  3. OOA webpage