The Financial Audit Division conducts 40 to 50 audits each year, focusing on government entities in the executive and judicial branches of state government. In addition, the division periodically audits metropolitan agencies, several “semi-state” organizations, and state-funded higher education institutions. Overall, the division has jurisdiction to audit approximately 180 departments, agencies, and other organizations.
Policymakers, bond rating agencies, and other decision makers need accurate and trustworthy financial information. To fulfill this need, the Financial Audit Division allocates a significant portion of its resources to conduct financial statement audits. These required audits include an annual audit of the State of Minnesota’s financial statements and an annual audit of major federal program expenditures. The division also conducts annual financial statement audits of the three public pension systems. The primary objective of financial statement audits is to assess whether public financial reports are fairly presented.
The Financial Audit Division conducts some discretionary audits; selected to provide timely and useful information to policymakers. Discretionary audits may focus on entire government entities, or on certain programs managed by those entities. Input from policymakers is the driving factor in the selection of discretionary audits.
The division is under the direction of a Deputy Legislative Auditor, who supervises a staff of approximately 40 auditors. Most are CPAs, and several are also CISAs (certified information systems auditors). To foster deep insight into government activities, the division aligns managerial responsibilities and staffing across six distinct lines of business.