Local Government

The Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) does not conduct the annual audits over local government funds, operations, or financial statements. Our office only performs limited audit work over state funds handled by local constitutional officers at the cities and counties. In general, the APA does not have authority to perform audits or investigations into concerns over local government processes or how local funds are budgeted and spent. State law would only permit the APA to perform a special audit at the local level in limited circumstances. Since the APA conducts our work under an approved annual workplan, it would take specific legislative action by the General Assembly, with approval by JLARC, to authorize the APA to perform an audit or investigation on the local level.  Please review the About Us page to learn more about the work the APA performs. 

While our office does not conduct the local government audits, we do perform other oversight functions to assist in improving accountability and financial management for Virginia local governments.  This includes issuance of annual specifications that set forth additional requirements unique to local government audits and guidelines to assist local compliance with accounting and reporting requirements. We also perform quality reviews over local audits performed by public accounting firms to ensure the firms’ audit work complies with relevant standards. Further, we provide support for local governments through technical assistance and knowledge sharing opportunities, along with providing various information and resources on this website page to assist with accounting and auditing guidelines and other relevant topics.

For Local Government related inquiries, please email localgovernment@apa.virginia.gov.

You can also reach out directly to our local government team by phone:

  • Laurie Hicks, Director, 804-362-8441
  • Rachel Reamy, Manager, 804-362-8436

Local Government Overview

Monitoring for Local Government Fiscal Distress 2020-2021 Report as of April 2022

The Virginia Acts of Assembly directs the Auditor of Public Accounts (Office) to establish a prioritized early warning system and annually monitor data and information from this system to identify potential fiscal distress within local governments across Virginia. As part of this system, the Office calculates 12 financial ratios using data from the localities’ audited financial reports and analyzes the results of each locality’s ratio performance using a points-based methodology. We also review any trends showing significant increases in total points from year to year.

Monitoring for Local Government Fiscal Distress 2020-2021 Report as of April 2022