Yellow Book

All of the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards are contained in the Yellow Book. The publication offers readers a framework for carrying out audits of all different kinds of governmental organizations and organizations that have received awards and funds from the government. CPAs and government auditors are the main Yellow Book users. The Government Accountability Office makes it public once a year (GAO). Just technical updates have been added since the most recent significant update in 2018, which was made.

Understanding Yellow Book

CPAs and government auditors who examine the federal government, state governments, and even local governments use The Yellow Book. For both financial and performance audits, the Yellow Book contains audit criteria and recommendations.

The Yellow Book's primary audit requirements focus on the following:

  1. Independence
  2. Due Care
  3. Continuing Professional Education (CPE)
  4. Supervision
  5. Quality Control

Yellow Book Audit Types

The information presented in an auditor's report should have been objectively obtained and appraised to be of adequate value to its readers, according to Yellow Book rules.

Three different audit types are covered in The Yellow Book:

  1. Performance audits can be used to boost programme effectiveness, cut costs, and assist businesses in making wiser choices.
  2. Financial audits offer an unbiased evaluation of whether the reported financial information of an organization is presented honestly and in conformity with accepted standards.
  3. Engagements for attestations might have a variety of financial or nonfinancial goals. The auditor publishes a report on the audit, the review, or the agreed-upon procedures.


All publicly traded US corporations must adhere to GAAP, or Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, with a few worldwide standard exclusions. The FASB, often known as the Financial Accounting Standards Board, developed and created GAAP.

The ASB, or Auditing Standards Board, is responsible for setting auditing standards in the US. These guidelines provide the professional requirements for auditors when they examine privately held businesses. Like government agencies, ASB does not develop auditing standards for the public sector.s.

The GAO, or Government Accountability Office, develops accounting standards for the public sector. The GAGAS acronym, which stands for "Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards," is a frequent name for the standards that the GAO develops.


Readers may trust the data in an audit report that adheres to GAGAS criteria and use it to guide important decisions.

How Do I Get It?

The Yellow Book last underwent an update in 2011. On the GAO website, you can find connections to the Yellow Book and further information.

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