Approved Auditor Program

Over the past decade, authorizers and researchers throughout the nation have identified the issue of inconsistent financial reporting within the charter sector as a barrier to operational success.  Difficulties can arise in a variety of areas-from improper accounting to the hiring of unqualified auditors. SCSC staff and commissioners understand that identifying, selecting, and compensating the "right" auditor can be challenging for state charter schools operating as newly formed LEAs. As a result, the SCSC instituted its Approved Auditor Program, through which the SCSC vets and approves highly-qualified CPA firms that meet both state and national accounting standards and covers the cost of annual audits for state charter schools that utilize an SCSC-approved auditor. Selected firms have extensive charter school experience and will provide a level of service from which state charter school governing boards can benefit. 

SCSC FY19 Audit Guidance
SCSC FY19 Approved Auditors:

The SCSC will cover the cost of the state's required annual financial audit (FY19) and any necessary Federal Single Audit for any state charter school choosing to use an SCSC Approved Auditor. Note: Unforeseen costs that require additional time and expense arising from a period are not within the scope of the SCSC’s contract with the auditors and will not be reimbursed by the SCSC under this contract. A school may negotiate additional services and fees with the Approved Auditor, but the costs will be borne solely by the state charter school. 

All schools planning to use an SCSC-approved auditor must notify Terence Washington, SCSC Financial Accountability Manager, by 5:00 PM on May 31, 2019.  If a governing board needs additional time to make a decision on this issue, it must submit notification that the school needs additional time as soon as possible and no later than 5:00 PM on May 24, 2019.

While this service is offered free of charge to all SCSC schools, the choice to utilize an SCSC-approved auditor is completely voluntary. State charter schools are also entitled to utilize the auditing services of the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts (DOAA) which provides high-quality audits that are also of no cost to the school. Schools also have the discretion to select outside auditors and pay for their own audits if they so choose; however, the SCSC will closely monitor the qualifications of all auditors working with SCSC schools. Utilizing an auditor who is not adequately experienced in GAGAS (Yellow Book) audits and does not have a current peer review may result in an insufficient audit leading to a breach of the school's charter contract. 

If a school uses an auditor outside of the SCSC Approved Auditor Program, the school must complete the following table and return it to Terence Washington by May 31, 2019. 

Firm Name:  
Firm/Individual CPA License #                                                         
GAGAS Peer Review Conducted within the past three years? Yes/No
GAGAS Peer Review Rating* Pass/Pass with Deficiencies/Fail or No Peer Review
Active State CPA License or Reciprocated Licensure in Georgia Yes/No

*Please highlight the answers and submit GAGAS peer review.

All state charter school audits must be completed and submitted to the SCSC and GaDOE by the November 1, 2019.  The SCSC will assist schools utilizing an Approved Auditor in ensuring the contracted auditor adheres to the obligations to provide audits in a timely manner.  Please note, this only includes situations where the auditor is at fault for a late submission.