According to state law, Section 29.235, RSMo, all audits conducted by the State Auditor shall conform to auditing standards established by the Comptroller General of the United States (Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) (the "Yellow Book")). Section 3.55 of the Yellow Book states, "Audit organizations performing audits and attestation engagements in accordance with GAGAS must have an external peer review performed by reviewers independent of the audit organization being reviewed at least once every 3 years." Section 3.56 states, "The audit organization should obtain an external peer review sufficient in scope to provide a reasonable basis for determining whether, for the period under review, the reviewed audit organization’s system of quality control was suitably designed and whether the audit organization is complying with its quality control system in order to provide the audit organization with reasonable assurance of conforming with applicable professional standards."
The State Auditor's Office complies with this requirement by participating in the National State Auditor's Association (NSAA) External Peer Review Program which is administered by the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers (NASACT).
An external peer review is an important element in the performance of quality audits. External peer reviews provide a unique opportunity for the maintenance and improvement of the quality of audit work performed as well as the confidence of the general public in the auditing profession. An external peer review enables the State Auditor's Office to obtain an independent assessment of whether or not its system of quality control is adequate to ensure compliance with Government Auditing Standards.
The State Auditor's Office's most recent peer review was conducted in October 2011 and covered audit reports issued from October 1, 2010, through September 30, 2011. The review team included representatives from 7 other state audit organizations and the federal government. The review team gave an unqualified opinion in its report, which is the highest level of assurance that an external peer review team can give.
Peer Review Report – October 2011