The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued the 2024 revision of Government Auditing Standards, also known as the Yellow Book. These standards, commonly referred to as generally accepted government auditing standards (GAGAS), provide a framework that auditors globally use to perform audit work when reviewing government programs and spending. This revision provides updates to the 2018 version.
Key changes from 2018 Yellow Book
The 2024 revision is intended to enhance how audit organizations manage audit quality. The GAO expects effective quality management to reasonably assure an audit organization that its people, audits, and reports adhere to professional standards and applicable laws. Updates include:
- A change in approach from quality control to quality management;
- A risk-based process for achieving the objectives of quality management;
- Provisions for optional engagement quality reviews of GAGAS engagements; and
- Application guidance on key audit matters for financial audits.
“This latest update enhances and modernizes the standards to perform high-quality audit work with competence, integrity, objectivity, and independence using a proactive and risk-based approach,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and the head of the GAO. “Implementation of these standards leads to greater accountability of government spending and improved services and operations.”
The 2024 revision of Government Auditing Standards has gone through an extensive deliberative process, including public comments. The GAO considered views of all parties in finalizing the standards.
This revision requires an audit organization to design and implement its system of quality management by December 15, 2025.