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Single Audits

Improving Quality

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG) has created this educational resource for recipients of Federal financial assistance, Federal program officials, and members of the audit community to strengthen their understanding of the scope, and improve the quality, of Single Audits.

Under the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996, a Single Audit is an organization-wide audit of a non-Federal entity’s financial statements and of its expenditures of Federal awards. A Single Audit allows one audit to cover the audit requirements for multiple Federal awards.

HHS is the largest grant-making agency in the Federal Government, and quality Single Audits are a key component of the oversight of Federal funds for HHS programs. Under Title 2 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance), HHS is charged with oversight responsibilities over Single Audits to monitor how recipients are using Federal funds for HHS programs. HHS has implemented the uniform guidance codified in 2 CFR 200 for HHS recipients at 45 CFR Part 75. High-quality Single Audits help HHS-OIG carry out its mission to provide oversight that promotes the economy, efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity of HHS programs.

Specifically, HHS-OIG uses Single Audits to identify instances of mismanagement of Federal funds, noncompliance, or indications of fraud, waste, and abuse within HHS programs.

HHS-OIG carries out oversight of Single Audit quality consistent with the duties and responsibilities outlined in section 4 of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (Public Law No. 95-452). HHS-OIG conducts its work in accordance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards, Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards, the requirements of the Uniform Guidance, and other legal, regulatory, and administrative requirements. In accordance with the specific oversight responsibilities under the Uniform Guidance, HHS-OIG:

  1. conducts desk reviews,
  2. performs quality control reviews, and
  3. provides technical assistance.

Further information about these activities appears elsewhere on this web page.

HHS-OIG’s oversight work has a direct, positive impact on improving the administration and performance of Federal programs. By working to improve the quality of Single Audits, HHS‑OIG provides assurance to the public that taxpayer dollars are being safeguarded and spent for their intended purposes, resulting in millions of Americans receiving improved health care and human services.

Additional Information

The Single Audit oversight function is performed within HHS-OIG’s Office of Audit Services (OAS). OAS is comprised of divisions and regions. The Single Audit Division within OAS is responsible for executing oversight of non-Federal entities that have received HHS funds and expended Federal funds that met the dollar threshold required for Single Audits. Our office can be reached at

The Single Audit Act does not limit the authority of Federal agencies or any Federal agency Inspector General or other Federal official to conduct audits and evaluations of Federal awards. Under 2 CFR § 200.503(b-c), Federal agencies have the authority to monitor and provide oversight to their programs and the entities that receive Federal funds. In addition, under Section 4 of the Inspector General Act of 1978, each Inspector General’s Office has the duty and responsibility to provide policy direction for and to conduct, supervise, and coordinate audits and investigations relating to the agency’s programs and operations.

The Single Audit process is the process of engaging, reporting, and conducting financial and program compliance audits of non-Federal entities, the results of which provide information necessary to improve the stewardship over Federal financial assistance provided to those entities. The Single Audit process also includes timely follow up and resolution of Single Audit findings.

The common stakeholders in the Single Audit process are those entities that have an interest in program oversight, the conduct of annual Single Audits, the oversight activities of the practitioners that conduct the audits, and the resolution of findings identified throughout the process. The common goal of the stakeholders is to ensure that Single Audits are conducted in accordance with uniform standards and that they report timely, meaningful information that can be used to make an impact on program integrity.

Common stakeholders in the Single Audit process are:

  • Non-Federal Entities that administer Federal Financial Assistance and that use the information in the audits to improve internal controls and strengthen compliance with Federal program requirements.
  • Direct and Pass-Through Federal Program Officials who use the Single Audit process to monitor compliance with their program requirements by the recipients of their program funds.
  • Non-Federal Auditors who conduct Single Audits and report the results on their assessment of the entity’s financial statements, internal controls, and compliance with Federal requirements.
  • Federal Auditors who build upon the Single Audit information when they develop audit, examination, and review programs to conduct their audits, investigations, and examinations of their agency programs.
  • Accounting and Auditing Standards-Setting Bodies that set the criteria by which Federal funds are accounted for and audited. These bodies also regulate the professional auditors who conduct the Single Audits for non-Federal entities.