Single Audit Resources

Single Audits

Performed by an "independent" Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

Federal financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic was a lifesaver for many entities. But in its wake, entities may be required to complete a single audit for the first time. Whether you need to educate your clients about this possibility, or you work in finance and must help your employer navigate a single audit, here are details you need to know.



What is a Single Audit?

A single audit is normally required by the Office of Management and Budget’s Uniform Grant Guidance (UGG) for a nonprofit or governmental entity that expends $750,000 or more of federal assistance during its fiscal year. The auditor reviews the organization’s financial statements and federal awards to ensure the money was spent according to its stipulations. 

Because of monetary relief programs implemented by the federal government during the pandemic, many for-profit organizations that received federal funds are facing their first-ever single audit requirement. Some organizations may not have even been aware of the requirement when they accepted the funds.

What Federal Funding Programs Trigger a Single Audit?

Experts admit that determining which funding triggers an audit is confusing. “…There’s been so much funding that’s come out so quickly, and some of the guidelines were delayed in actually coming out to the public in understanding what counts and what does not count,” said Deetra Watson, CPA, CGMA, on a July 8 Journal of Accountancy podcast episode on the topic.

Funds received from one of the highest-profile programs, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) do not trigger single audits. However, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) do. To help navigate the requirements, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC) has resources available. 

If you received any federal assistance, consult with a CPA to obtain a professional opinion to determine if you need a Single Audit.  



Who Can Perform a Single Audit?

An independent auditor must perform an organization’s single audit through a licensed CPA firm enrolled in peer review; it cannot be done by an in-house auditor. If you are a CPA who does not perform audits, or does not have experience performing single audits, you need to advise your clients to engage with a reputable auditor who has experience and meets all the competency requirements established by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), including completion of all the CPE, necessary to perform these types of engagements. Please see Find a CPA for a listing of CPAs performing Single Audits.

Helpful Resources for CPAs Performing Single Audits:

Single Audit Tips for Auditors

Tips for Organizations Subject to Single Audit Requirements

FAQs for Organizations Needing a Single Audit

Checklist - Getting Ready for a Single Audit

Single Audit Relief Provided to Certain Governments With Treasury COVID-19 Funding Journal of Accountancy

Single Audit Clarity Provided Related to Pandemic Relief Programs Journal of Accountancy

Updated Single Audit Guidance Provided By OMB In 2021 Compliance Supplement

Tips for working with first-time single audit clients

AICPA Single Audit resources

Single audit rules clarified for Provider Relief Fund recipients Journal of Accountancy

Deadline for certain single audits delayed because of pandemic Journal of Accountancy

AICPA Governmental Audit Quality Center 

GAQC Archived COVID-19 Resources

HHS Cares Act Provider Relief data with providers receiving funding


Check out Single Audit CPE courses at the KSCPA learning hub.