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CPE for Government Auditors

What You Need to Know to Audit Government Programs

Audits of governmental programs require special knowledge of federal requirements and criteria including the Uniform Guidance and the GAO’s Yellow and Green Books.  In this seminar, we will cover the essentials that you need to know to perform an audit of federal grants including the Single Audit requirements and the GAO’s Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.  We will also discuss the purpose and use of the GAO’s Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government and significant reporting requirements. We will highlight the differences between OMB Circular A-133 and the new Uniform Grant Guidance as well as the differences between a financial audit and a Single Audit.  Key acronyms and terminology are explained in plain English.

 

Objectives:

  • Identify the significant differences between a commercial financial audit and a Single Audit
  • Identify the three subjects of a single audit
  • Compare the requirements of the AICPA, the GAO, and the Uniform Grant Guidance
  • Identify major changes between OMB Circular A-133 and the audit requirements from the Uniform Grant Guidance
  • Evaluate controls using the COSO model and Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government
  • Distinguish between fraud, abuse, and noncompliance
  • Order the levels of materiality on a Single Audit
  • Select the standards that apply to your engagement & differentiate between types of engagements.
  • Define requirements for peer review and quality control
  • Apply the new 2011 independence standards to your team
  • Create findings using the five elements of a finding
  • Identify requirements for continuing professional education
  • Generate concise and logical findings in an hour or less
  • Choose the strongest content for your finding

 

Who should attend: Auditors and monitors of governmental funds and programs who need to understand how to applyYellow Book standards to their work.

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live instruction

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours of NASBA-qualified hours that counts toward the 24 hour Yellowbook CPE requirements

NASBA Category of Study: Auditing (Governmental)

 

Leading an Audit Project

As the lead on an audit project, you are no longer just a technician, but a teacher, a coach, and a manager. In this two-day course, learn how to keep a handle on project quality, scope, and resources while communicating clearly with stakeholders. We will also cover how to develop your staff and enhance your skills as a servant leader.

This course assumes you know the basics of audit planning, fieldwork, and reporting.

Course objectives include:

  • Create master plans that keep your audit on track
  • Schedule tasks for maximum impact
  • Teach new staff key audit skills
  • Implement active listening skills to get to the root of performance problems
  • Ensure audit quality with the appropriate quality and quantity of evidence

Who should attend: Auditors

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: 1 or more years of audit experience

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 16 hours

Auditing to Support a Meaningful Audit Report

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“A very helpful course with relevant and easy to apply content led by a very knowledgeable and engaging instructor.”
- Charlie Johnson, CAE of LCRA February 2016

“Leita is one of the best instructors I have ever had. Leita reaches out to all participants—and doesn’t leave anyone ‘behind’, which is amazing considering the diversity of the class.”
- Basic Audit Skills participant, March 2013

Do you audit first and worry about the report at the end of the project? Maybe you’ve realized that no amount of editing will fix a report for an audit that went off the rails. In this course, we will look at the critical components of an audit report and how to create them – as you audit – so that the reporting process is easy.  Frequent references to audit standards will keep us grounded.

Course objectives include:

  • Sort out insignificant complaints and focus on significant risks
  • Create convincing, implementable and auditable recommendations
  • Generate concise and logical findings in an hour or less
  • Choose methodologies that support conclusions and findings
  • Choose the strongest content for your finding
  • Decide how much detail to share in the report
  • Quantify findings
  • Recognize dangerous tone and language
  • Establish expectations and guidelines for creating a compelling  finding
  • Decide when to pursue the root cause
  • Focusing the report conclusion on a finite, answerable objective
  • Refine the objective and sub-objectives

Program level: Intermediate

Instructional method: Group live instruction

Prerequisites: More than one year of audit experience

Who should attend: Auditors who write or review audit reports

Recommended CPE credit: 16 hours

 

Audit Planning and Risk Assessment

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“I have been ranting and raving to my peers, family and friends about your seminar… you had me on the edge of my seat just absorbing all the information you covered! Anyone that can teach [auditing]… in such a fun, exciting and upbeat way… deserves more than just KUDOS. I am already looking into other seminars you teach.”

The ultimate impact of your audit report often depends on how you start out. A thorough planning process is key to creating compelling results. By asking a series of specific questions, you can shape your audit project into something interesting and valuable. In this seminar we will work together to develop a solid audit plan that will result in an audit report you can be proud of.

Course objectives include:

  • Uncover risk and choose an audit subject by asking specific questions
  • Refine the objectives and sub-objectives
  • Document your assessment and keep it up-to-date throughout the audit
  • Apply the 2013 version of the COSO model to your control risk assessment
  • Choose strong convincing audit methodologies

Program level: Intermediate

Instructional method: Group live instruction

Prerequisites: More than two years of audit experience

Who should attend: Auditors who plan audit engagements

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Audit Methodologies

All student comments from July 2016 open enrollment class for government internal auditors…

  • The course is great for beginning auditors as well as experienced ones. It covers the basic question of how to take an objective for an audit and ensure it will yield the outcome or answer the question you are asking. Then being able to ensure your procedures address that objective. It sounds basic, but its very easy to just do standard audit procedures that may or may not address your objective.
  • The discussion on audit objectives was particularly helpful. The lesson on SPPRC and audit program design was good practice and brought up good discussion points.
  • It’s important in auditing to understand the significance of having a good audit methodology, as well as understanding how the methodology fits into the process.
  • This course was good for obtaining a basic understanding of and gaining hands on experience with audit working papers and methodologies for testing.
  • I was engaged the whole 8hrs we were in class, the instructor touched on every subject I needed clarification on.
  • Leita always has great information and is a wonderful instructor. You will leave always learning something new.
  • I really enjoyed the structure of these course. I was able to use my auditing skills and learn to enhance them.
  • This course should be required for internal auditors. I definitely learned things I will be using on the job.
  • The material is useful to rookie and veteran auditors. It will help me with my work paper development.
  • The subject matter is essential to anyone in the audit/analyst field, new or experienced.
  • One of the best instructors I’ve had at XX. She was experienced and engaging, and I actually learned a lot from the class. I appreciated that she wanted us to learn. She was very prepared. She was also very good at presenting and explaining information.
  • Leita engaged the entire class in exercises, and I learned not only from her but from other peers in the class. She had good energy, and the right mix of humor and instruction to keep the day moving along.
  • She was by far the best instructor I’ve had at XX. She kept us working and on task the whole day, but it felt fun. She really knows her audience and makes everyone feel comfortable enough to ask questions.
  • Leita was very knowledgeable of the subject matter, and she was able to interact with the class, in order to make sure everyone was understanding the material.
  • Leita is a fantastic instructor. She provides information in a clear and easily understood format and provides relevant take-aways and job-aids.
  • EXCELLENT!!! Knowledgeable, interesting, funny, and clear. I really feel like her class offer useful information in a clear and usable manner
  • She was very good at keeping my attention and made learning fun and effective. I would definitely take one of her trainings again.
  • Instructor makes a potentially stifling topic so approachable we were even able to put effort into it during the course.
  • Leita is the best. She’s knows what she’s talking about and it able to relay it to the people attending her courses.
  • Leita is very knowledgeable of the subject and provided an interesting and fun way of learning and staying engaged.
  • She is great and knowledgeable. She can gracefully articulate the subject matter to where you can understand it.
  • Leita is extremely knowledgeable and easily understood. She makes her classes lively and fun.
  • The instructor was very involved with the class and kept it very dynamic.
  • The instructor’s ability to make all of the information relevant and fun.
  • Leita was very entertaining, engaging, and educational.
  • Leita is an entertaining and informative instructor.
  • Very knowledgeable and got everyone to participate.
  • Great instructor! Keeps you alert and engaged.
  • The instructor did an excellent job.
  • Great interaction with students.
  • She is awesome!

Have you ever wanted to say something in your audit report but you can’t support with evidence? Or have you ever wasted a significant amount of time on a test that you didn’t need to perform? We will design audit methodologies that get you where you want to go as quickly and as easily as possible.  The resulting working papers convince your audit leadership that you can confidently conclude against your audit objective.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Choose appropriate methodologies for a variety of objectives
  • Discern strong evidence from weak evidence
  • Develop a stand-alone working paper for a methodology

Who should attend: Auditors

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Audit Reporting

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“Leita!

I enjoyed the content and pace of the training today and yesterday. You mentioned that it was difficult to measure how effective your training was so here’s some news: It was the second time I’d participated in your training; some of the material was duplicate but helpful and relevant to both trainings.

The first training session in March 2013, Essential Skills for the Beginning Auditor, helped guide my practice through major office changes, two being no Director/CAE and Audit Manager for 10 months. Lose of these two roles (out of six) made a hugely negative impact to refining audit objectives, building an audit program, and clearly communicating to/with management. At this time, having only 1 1/2 years of internal audit experience and hardly any at planning or report writing, your training and print materials helped me navigate the open seas!

The new boss came in all about the FIVE ELEMENTS so, naturally we were signed up for Audit Reporting.

Audit Reporting, reinforced why/how to tie the planning and testing to supporting anything worth mentioning: To best communicate with reviewers and to bring the value to the audience, flush out less useful findings and wording in the reports. The session brought an end-in-mind approach to quickly deliver the best value.

Not to mention, your sense a humor was appreciated. Even though, the stories were mostly “women stories”, they brought a pleasant interruption to the dreary subject of Internal Audit.

Thanks!”
– Esther Villarreal, Internal Auditor Intermediate, January 2015

A 1.5-day course designed for auditors who care about the impact of their audit reports.

A logically organized report is a gift to the reader. In this course, you will learn how to create meaningful, concise reports without all the headache. We will discuss ways to streamline your writing process as well as techniques for organizing your thoughts.

This class is beneficial for both new and experienced auditors. New auditors learn how to use the elements of a finding to structure their message. Experienced auditors learn how to set clear expectations, quickly review audit reports, and coach staff to improve their writing. We will walk through each step of the report writing process and learn how to craft a clear message to fit the audience.

The class is centered on the five elements of a finding — as required by the GAO and the Single Audit Act and suggested by the Institute of Internal Auditors.

Topics include:

  • Structure audit content in support of audit recommendations
  • Create convincing, implementable and auditable recommendations
  • Generate concise and logical findings in an hour or less
  • Choose the strongest content for your finding
  • Decide how much detail to share in the report
  • Quantify findings
  • Enhance the readability of your report
  • Recognize dangerous tone and language
  • Establish expectations and guidelines for creating a compelling finding
  • Decide when to pursue the root cause
  • Focusing the report conclusion on a finite, answerable objective

Program level: Intermediate

Instructional method: Group live instruction

Prerequisites: More than one year of audit experience

Who should attend: Auditors who write or review audit reports

Recommended CPE credit: 12 hours

Forecasting for Profit in Tough Times

You’ve been tapped to create the forecast process for your division. Now what? Even if you understand the basics, what can you do to make the process faster? More efficient? Cleaner? More accurate? Just better? We’ll discuss best practices in budgeting and forecasting, along with some tips and tricks to make your product the best it can be. This course is a facilitated walk-through of the forecasting process using one division’s product or service.

Course objectives:

  • link the forecast to the strategic plan
  • distinguish between planning for the short-term and the long-term
  • forecast and maximizing revenues
  • forecast and minimizing expenditures
  • identify variables and assumptions that impact revenues and expenditures
  • identify drivers of performance results
  • diagnose the root causes of not meeting forecast and responding promptly

Who should attend? Managers seeking to tighten up their forecasts and budgets

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Two years of professional experience

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Internal Controls Workshop

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“Leita was extremely knowledgeable of the subject matter. She also had was of simplifying the concepts to their base elements. This method made it very easy to grasp the concepts that were presented. For and introductory course, I find that clarity and simplicity key.”
- March 2013

“Leita made a dry subject interesting and imparted a great deal of information.”
- March 2013

“Leita was a wonderful instructor. Her material was relevant. She made the class interesting and interactive. It was a great learning experience and I know that I will be able to take what I have learned and apply it to my job.”
- March 2013

“Very knowledgeable on the material and willing to stop and explain in detail some items to those who were not Auditors.”
- March 2013

“She is incredibly knowledgeable while being entertaining at the same time. She pretty much kept the class riveted.”
- March 2013

How do you make sure bad things don’t happen? Controls! In this short workshop, learn how to define risks and apply controls to mitigate the risks – without creating a burdensome bureaucracy.

Objectives:

  • How to define business risks
  • How to mitigate risks with controls
  • How to choose and strengthen key controls
  • What the COSO model is and why it is important
  • How to identify and lean critical processes

Who should attend: Professionals

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Maximizing Cash Flow

web0973To ultimately succeed, a business must be able to generate a healthy cash flow. Without it, the business will be unable to pay its bills and react quickly to market opportunities or threats.

Learn the secrets of working capital management that Dell, Wal-Mart, and Apple use to manage their working capital and turn their operations into cash generating machines. Leita Hart-Fanta is the author of The Four Principles of Happy Cash Flow.

In this workshop, you’ll learn to:

  • Apply concepts for maximize cash flow using four key principles
  • Discuss ideas for smart receivables, inventory, and payable systems
  • Calculate metrics to measure the success of your redesign efforts and benchmark against other organizations
  • Distinguish between managing for profit and managing for cash flow

Who should attend: Businesspeople

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 2 hours

Financial Statement Analysis

From CPAs in January 2017:

“Very good learning experience from an excellent instructor in a an excellent facility! Good job everyone! Instructor was wonderful, used her experience to add insight to the class, asked excellent probing questions… really enjoyed the experience!”
- 1/30/2017 11:58 AM

“Leita is extraordinary. She relates well to the participants and her real-world examples help everyone understand the material. Her own accounting and business experience as well as her knowledge of current financial operations of public companies is also important. She is one of the very best trainers for TSCPA-Austin!”
- 1/30/2017 7:48 AM

“This is the best class I have ever sat in on.”
–1/28/2017 12:28 PM

What story are your financial statements telling about your company? Or—what story are the competitor’s financial statements telling? By running a few numbers and analyzing the status of certain key financial statement balances, you can begin to develop an overall picture of an organization’s health.

Objectives:

  • Determine key ratios for a particular industry
  • Interpret what key ratios mean and how they are calculated
  • Use comprehensive analysis techniques to piece together a story
  • Evaluate common business pitfalls and discuss to design your systems to avoid them

Who should attend: Financial professionals

Program level: Intermediate

Prerequisites: Understanding of the basics of financial statements – the balance sheet, the income statement, the cash flow statement

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

Performance-Based Budgeting

Performance budgeting may be the best way to respond to increasing customer demand at a reasonable cost. Performance budgeting provides the means to link performance goals to the appropriate resources and then hold managers at each level accountable for achieving the results.

Performance-based budgets put the money where the goals are. Large organizations and the government are increasingly turning to this results-based approach to allocate limited resources.

Objectives:

  • Select meaningful performance measures
  • Create a performance-based budget, step-by-step
  • Decide if performance-based budgeting is right for your organization
  • Choose the key questions to ask in developing a strategic plan and a balanced scorecard
  • Link annual plans with the budget

Who should attend: Anyone who creates, audits, or must comply with a budget.

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

 

How to Interpret Financial Statements: The Basics of Finance for Non-Financial Professionals

No doubt about it, the more you know the language of business, the more you will be able to contribute to your organization’s success. Understanding the ins-and-outs of business finance, budgeting, and costs leads to wise and profitable decisions.

This fun and interactive course starts with a humorous DVD starring John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, and includes a competitive board game called Profit & Cash where participants simulate running a business.

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, the author of the McGraw-Hill book, Accounting Demystified is your guide.

Objectives:

In this workshop, you’ll learn:

  • How profits are made and why profit can’t be your only focus
  • How to use the three key financial statements to tell a story about the financial health of an organization
  • What key financial metrics mean and how you impact them
  • How the concepts of liquidity, solvency, and profitability impact a business
  • How to scrutinize a P&L statement
  • How to use cost terminology including variable, fixed, indirect, and direct costs
  • How to develop revenue, expense, and capital projections
  • How to determine the true cost of new hires
  • How to increase cash flow
  • How to best manage working capital
  • How to determine a decision’s impact on profit and cash
  • How to extract the information you need to manage from the organization’s financial reports
  • How to link your strategic plan to your budget and performance metrics

 Topics:

  • The three key financial statements

– The balance sheet
– The income statement (P&L)
– The cash flow statement

  • The concepts of liquidity, profitability, and solvency
  • The common metrics used to determine the health of a business and the viability of a proposal
  • The principles of cash flow and work flow management
  • The terminology accountants used to discuss costs
  • The line item budget and performance based budget
  • The balanced scorecard and strategic plan and how to link them to the budget
  • The family of performance metrics that keeps you on track with your budget
  • The evidence necessary to back up budget projections
  • The reports used by your organization to report on budget performance and financial results

Benefits:

  • Professionals understand how to manage their departments using financial information
  • Professionals become more confident in discussions with executive, customers, suppliers, employees, budget analysts, and controllers
  • Professionals realize the tradeoffs between liquidity, profitability, solvency, and growth

Methods:

Financial Acumen is designed to be interactive and engaging for participants. Self-discovery is aided by numerous self-checks and discussions. The methods of training include:

  • Terminology quiz
  • Small group exercises
  • Group discussions and questions
  • John Cleese DVD
  • Profit & Cash board game

 

 

Who should attend: Professionals

Program level: Beginning

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 16 hours

Government Accounting for the Non-Financial Professional

Have you avoided accounting and finance all your life? Have you noticed lately that your career and influence are limited because you don’t speak in accounting terms? Do you wonder why you are told to wait on some purchases but allowed to spend freely on other things? Do you ponder the meaning and purpose of encumbrances, internal service funds, and performance measures? Well, this the class for you!

Let Leita teach you the language of government finance so you can have an intelligent conversation with a finance or accounting professional. Imagine the respect and awe you will engender when you sprinkle your statements with government finance terminology! We won’t get too technical, but instead give you the information you need to start and maintain conversations about money.

Leita is the author of Accounting Demystified, a McGraw-Hill book and is a Certified Government Financial Manager and Certified Public Accountant. She has taught over 1000 full day seminars. As part of our time together, we will play a board game that teaches accounting and finance fundamentals called “Profit and Cash,” watch a John Cleese video, evaluate the financial health of a local government, design a financial performance metrics, and calculate activity-based costs for a government program.

Objectives:

  • Determine a decision’s impact on fund balance and cash
  • Discern between fund types
  • Consider restrictions on fund use
  • Understand the key financial statements and documents that government managers use to run their programs
  • Calculate cost per unit of service in accordance with federal uniform guidance
  • Use a comprehensive annual financial report to tell a story about the financial health of a government
  • Create and maintain a simple performance-based budget
  • Apply cost terminology including variable, fixed, indirect, and direct costs
  • Extract the information you need from the organization’s financial reports

Who should attend: Non-financial professionals AND financial professionals who want to improve communications with their customers.

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 16 hours

Yellow Book Standards 2018

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“It’s been a most entertaining and valuable learning experience and we thank you for making dry audit standards and principles so alive! “
- V.I. IG Auditor, November 2012

“Thanks very much for the great class today. I found it interesting, informative and a lot of fun!!

As someone new to auditing, not to mention government auditing, I was aware that I needed to have a much better understanding of the Yellow Book, and I feel that today was a perfect overview of how the audit process of the Yellow Book works and should work. The instructions, Q&A, and exercises, as well as the asides and personal stories, helped reinforce the core content. Overall a great day of learning for me that will help directly with my OSA duties and responsibilities. “
- Gene B. Assistant State Auditor, July 2017

The GAO’s Yellow Book standards set a high bar for auditors of government programs.  The 2018 revision significantly alters the auditor independence standard.  The Yellow Book standards encompass performance audits, financial audits, and attestation engagements.

Major Topics:

  • Audit plans
  • Evidence
  • Continuing professional education
  • Quality control standards
  • Reportable conditions including waste and abuse
  • Documentation
  • Reporting
  • Independence

Objectives Include:

  • Select the standards that apply to your engagement
  • Define requirements for peer review and quality control
  • Apply the 2018 independence and competence standards to your team
  • Use the elements of a finding to flesh out an audit issue
  • Label reportable conditions as waste, abuse, fraud, non-compliance, & an internal control weakness
  • Differentiate between types of audits

 

Program level: Intermediate

Instructional method: Group live instruction

NASBA Category of Study: Auditing (Governmental)

Advance preparation: None

Who should attend: Auditors and monitors of governmental funds and programs.  The course will concentrate on either financial/single audits or performance audits, depending on the needs of the audience.

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours of NASBA qualified hours that counts toward the 24 hour Yellowbook CPE requirements.

Auditing for Fraud in the Government Environment

WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS SEMINAR

“Leita was extremely knowledgeable of the subject matter. She also had was of simplifying the concepts to their base elements. This method made it very easy to grasp the concepts that were presented. For and introductory course, I find that clarity and simplicity key.”
- March 2013

“Course met the objectives of the class and provided a clear presentation of the materials. Overall, it was a very educational class.”
- March 2013

“It was an GREAT course with a GREAT Instructor.”
- March 2013

“She was a fabulous instructor. She kept the course material relevant and entertaining at the same time. She did an excellent job of teaching appropriate material while intertwining interesting stories. She was very polite to all of the students and welcomed everyone’s input and questions.”
- March 2013

“The instructor was knowledgeable on the subject and presented the material in an interesting fashion. I learned a lot from this instructor.”
- March 2013

“Leita made a dry subject interesting and imparted a great deal of information.”
- March 2013

The Yellow Book places responsibility on auditors to design their audit to detect fraud. But what does fraud look like? What techniques can you use to find it? And how does it rear its ugly head in the government environment?

In this course, we will discuss the taxonomy of fraud as well as how to do your best to uncover it and document your work.

Objectives:

  • Apply Yellow Book and GAAS requirements regarding fraud to your engagement
  • Distinguish between fraud, abuse, and non-compliance
  • Explain what to look for– using the CFE’s fraud tree and fraud triangle
  • Apply fraud risk assessment techniques
  • Design resulting audit methodologies

Who should attend: Auditors conducting audits under GAO’s Yellow Book Auditing Standards

Program level: Basic

Prerequisites: No prerequisites or advance preparation required

Delivery method: Group live

Recommended CPE credit: 8 hours

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