Step by Step Audit Contracting Process
Develop a list of audit firms eligible to perform government audits for the current fiscal year.
The State Auditor’s Office will issue an invitation to audit firms interested in performing government audits to complete an application known as the firm profile datasheet. Firms will submit the application along with the required documentation indicated on the profile datasheet to the State Auditor’s Office by a deadline specified by the State Auditor.
Upon reaching the deadline for receiving applications from the firms, the Office will conduct an extensive review of each application. The areas of review include verification that educational requirements have been met, the firm’s documents such as professional liability insurance, New Mexico firm permit, etc. are current and a review that the firms are in compliance with requirements set forth in the Audit Rule relating to due dates, late audit notifications, quality of work, etc.
Upon the conclusion of the review, firms will fall into several categories: 1) approved, 2) approved with limitations (often limiting the number of audits they are eligible to perform), 3) approved to be on the list of firms eligible to perform audits however there is some requirement that must be met before the Office will approve and issue contracts. Some of the most common items that can cause this restriction is a) an expired or upcoming expiring peer review, b) not having an at least one audit manager with a current New Mexico CPA license, c) having outstanding audit reports for prior years, d) having expired documentation, e) not meeting the CPE requirements, etc.
Once the list of approved firms has been finalized the information is posted on our website.
Update and finalize the current year Audit Rule.
The Office annually reviews and updates the 2.2.2 New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC) “Requirements for Contracting and Conducting Audits of Agencies”, known as the Audit Rule. The updates include administrative updates, changes based on the outcome of legislation and changes resulting from auditing standards.
The State Auditor selects the audits the Office will perform and all other agencies will be sent written notification that they can procure their auditor.
State Auditor has the option to select any agency and have his office perform the annual financial and compliance audit. Once he has made his selection all other agencies must wait until they receive written notification from the State Auditor that they can contract for audit services.
The State Auditor’s Office conducts statewide trainings on the Annual Contracting Process.
The State Auditor’s Office will conduct statewide training sessions at the beginning of the audit contracting cycle. The trainings are usually 3-4 hours in length and cover a variety of issues including 1) highlights from the State Auditor, 2) the contracting department will cover the steps that agencies need to follow to get an auditor in place to perform their audit including providing statistics from previous audit years and 3) the audit department will cover overall changes that will affect the audit and give an overview of upcoming changes in standards that may affect future audits. Registration is requested and can be completed on are website.
Agencies submit the draft contract for the audit firm they are recommending perform their annual financial and compliance audit through OSA-Connect.
Audit firms will submit audit and AUP reports to the State Auditor for review and release upon completion.
Report Due Dates will outline the due dates for the audit and AUP reports. Once an audit or AUP report with the required documentation (completed audit review guide, management representation letter and letter of past adjustments or an indication there were none) is received in the State Auditor’s Office, we will post on our website the date the report was received. Any reports received lacking any of the required documentation, including the engagement letter, will not be considered received until all the required documents are received.
A completed audit or AUP report submission proceeds through a review process. Upon completion of the review, the Office will fax a letter of comments to the auditor and the agency. The audit firm has 2 business days to respond.
When the final audit reports are received (including a required electronic copy) the Office will briefly review it making sure the final version reflects the accepted draft or the draft version with required changes. The Office will then issue a release letter which indicates that the audit or AUP report will have 5 days before it is considered a public record. An agency can request a waiver of the 5 day holding period; however the request must be in writing and should be submitted PRIOR to the report being released.
To request a waiver of the 5 day wait period required by Section 12-6-5 NMSA 1978, the governing authority or governing authority’s designee must provide written notification to the OSA of the waiver in the form of a letter. The letter must be signed by the agency’s governing authority or the governing authority’s designee and be addressed to the attention of State Auditor Joseph M. Maestas, P.E. It is best to send the letter via email to firstname.lastname@example.org to help ensure timely receipt.