The audit process involves three phases: survey, field work, and reporting. Communication with auditees is an important part of all three phases.
Survey work consists of discussions with agency personnel, physical inspections, review of records, and sample tests of transactions. In addition, auditors obtain an understanding of internal controls significant to the audit objectives and consider whether specific internal control procedures have been properly designed and placed in operation.
During field work, the auditor plans and defines audit objectives, reviews and evaluates extensive data, documents findings, and develops recommendations for corrective action.
At the end of field work, the results of the audit are communicated to officials at various levels of government. Findings and recommendations are presented in a draft report that is furnished to auditees for their review and response. The final audit report includes the auditor's findings, recommendations and management's responses and is available to the public.