We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Does a Government Auditor Do?

By Theresa Miles
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A government auditor evaluates whether public funds were used according to the mandate associated with the funds. The position is typically divided into internal and external auditors. Internal government auditors check the financial records of government agencies to ensure compliance with financial standards. External government auditors check the activities of non-governmental third-party recipients of government funds to ensure the funds were spent in accordance with the agreements governing the allocation of public money.

Auditing is a process where a financial specialist, typically trained in accounting methods, reviews and assesses an entity's financial records, uses of funds and compliance with financial controls. In the private sector, auditing is a mechanism that is used to ensure that companies operate in the best interests of their investors, and not for the financial gain of insiders. Likewise, auditing performs a similar function in the public sector, with the caveat that any discrepancies revealed by an audit can result in criminal and civil consequences.

Government audits concern the use of public funds, which have a heightened degree of accountability. Public funds are typically allocated to government agencies for their own use or for distribution to third-parties under authorization of a country's legislative body. The authorization of funds is usually tied to a whole slate of things that can and cannot be done with the money that is outlined in the specific authorization and in any overarching government fiscal policy that concerns the allocation. For example, the specific funds authorization may allocate money to a veteran's administration to encourage small business development, but a general governmental policy might prohibit public money from going to any vendor that discriminates in its hiring practices. The government auditor would have to check not only that the funds were used as specified in the funds authorization, but also that the use complied with general governmental policies.

Internal government auditors are typically assigned to audit an agency or a specific allocation of funds to multiple agencies under a single legislative authorization. They go into the agency and perform a checklist of tasks that include reviewing financial expenditures and determining compliance with financial protocols. An internal government auditor spends most of hi s time reviewing the agency's record-keeping to establish that public money has not been used in an unauthorized manner.

External government auditors typically inspect the activities and financial records of vendors, grantees and contractors that receive government money. The important distinction between internal and external auditors in a government context is that the external auditor usually must also evaluate whether the government is getting its money's worth. For example, an external government auditor who is assigned to audit a government health care reimbursement program must not only determine if the financial affairs are in order but must also look to the way the medical care is provided to ensure the government is not being defrauded.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.