Single Audits: How It Works and How It Can Be Beneficial


For many organizations in the United States, particularly non-profit organizations and government entities, navigating the complex world of audits can be a challenging and time-consuming task. And if you receive federal funds, you may be required to undergo an additional audit process known as a Single Audit. While it may seem like an added burden, the Single Audit process can actually benefit your organization by streamlining the auditing process, reducing audit fatigue, and improving your organization’s overall financial management.

What Is a Single Audit?

A Single Audit, also known as a Uniform Guidance Audit, is an audit process required for organizations that receive federal financial assistance. It is designed to ensure that federal funds are being used in compliance with the terms and conditions of the assistance program and to evaluate the organization’s internal controls and financial management systems. The Single Audit process is governed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and is outlined in the OMB’s Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR 200), commonly known as the “Uniform Guidance.”

Who Needs a Single Audit?

Any non-federal entity that receives and expends $750,000 or more in federal awards during a fiscal year is required to undergo a Single Audit. This includes non-profit organizations, state and local governments, universities, and Indian tribes. If your organization spends less than $750,000 in federal awards during a fiscal year, you are not required to have a Single Audit; however, you must still maintain records and make them available for review or audit by appropriate officials.

The Benefits of a Single Audit

While undergoing a Single Audit may seem like a complex and daunting task, there are several key benefits that your organization can gain from the process:

1. Streamlined Audit Process

By consolidating multiple audits into one comprehensive audit, the Single Audit process can save your organization valuable time and resources. This can help to reduce audit fatigue and make the auditing process more efficient.

2. Improved Financial Management

The Single Audit process can help to identify areas where your organization’s financial management and internal controls can be improved. By addressing these issues, your organization can strengthen its financial health and reduce the risk of future noncompliance.

3. Enhanced Credibility and Transparency

By demonstrating your organization’s commitment to accountability and compliance, a successful Single Audit can help to build trust with your stakeholders, including funders, regulators, and the public.

4. Increased Access to Federal Funding

Organizations that undergo a Single Audit and demonstrate strong financial management and compliance are more likely to be successful in securing future federal grants and funding opportunities.


Overall, a Single Audit is a crucial compliance tool for organizations that receive federal funding, and it can provide numerous benefits in terms of strengthening financial management, enhancing credibility and transparency, and securing future funding opportunities. By embracing the Single Audit process and utilizing it as an opportunity for growth and improvement, your organization will be better positioned for long-term success in achieving its mission and serving its constituents.

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