Your agency receives an email or a letter from the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA). You’re not sure what to do. Have you done something wrong? Are you in violation of the law? What are the repercussions to your agency?
There is no need to panic when your agency receives correspondence from LLA; but you do need to follow the instructions in the correspondence to ensure that your agency is in compliance with Louisiana law.
The majority of correspondence sent to local government agencies and quasi-public organizations (local auditees) from LLA comes from Local Government Services (LGS) and pertains to a local auditee’s reporting requirement to LLA. The correspondence clearly states the reason it was sent, the actions the local auditee needs to take, and any repercussions for not taking these actions.
There are two types of correspondence that are routinely sent to local auditees by LLA LGS staff:
- Enforcement correspondence. This type of correspondence is referred to as enforcement because it is used by LLA to enforce Louisiana Revised Statute (R.S.) 24:513 and24:514 (the audit law). This correspondence reminds a local auditee that their audit, review/attestation, or compilation report will soon be due to LLA; and that the local auditee needs to procure the services of an approved certified public accounting (CPA) firm to perform the related engagement.
Most enforcement correspondence is sent by email if LLA has a current email address for the local auditee.
LLA initially sends enforcement correspondence approximately thirty days before the local auditee’s fiscal year end; with follow up correspondence sent approximately thirty days before the due date of the report if the local auditee has not engaged its CPA.
Local auditees are required by R.S. 24:514to engage their CPA firm within sixty days of their fiscal year end. There are consequences for a local auditee that does not engage their CPA firm within that time frame.
LLA sends similar enforcement correspondence to local auditees that are required to provide sworn financial statements; but only one notification is sent, approximately thirty days after the local auditee’s fiscal year end. Blank sworn financial statement forms and instructions are included in the correspondence, either through an attachment if the correspondence is sent by email, or through a hard copy form if the correspondence is sent by letter. The local auditee may prepare the sworn financial statements themselves, or may hire a CPA firm to prepare them.
See also What Kind of Report Does My Agency Need to Provide to the Legislative Auditor?
- Delinquent report correspondence. This type of correspondence advises a local auditee that their report is delinquent, and the local auditee’s name has been placed on the noncompliance list on LLA’s website. Delinquent report correspondence is also usually sent by email if LLA has a current email address for the local auditee. R.S. 39:72.1 prohibits the payment of Louisiana state government funds to a local auditee whose name is on the noncompliance list.
See also Due Date of Reports and Consequences of a Late Report.
LLA also sends correspondence to local auditees to request information, or for other various reasons.
When a local auditee receives an email or letter from LLA, they should do the following:
- Read the email or letter and follow the instructions. Any correspondence from LLA to a local auditee includes clear instructions on the actions the local auditee needs to take. Enforcement correspondence to local auditees that provide audit, review/attestation or compilation reports state that the local auditee needs to hire a CPA firm from LLA’s approved list to perform the related engagement; and includes a link to the list of approved CPA firms on LLA’s website8. Enforcement correspondence that is sent to local auditees that provide sworn financial statements include the blank sworn financial statement forms that need to be submitted to LLA, and instructions on how to fill them out. Other types of correspondence may request other information or actions that is required of the local auditee. Follow the instructions and call the contact person listed in the correspondence if you have any questions.
- If a response is requested, please respond within five business days (or the period of time stipulated in the correspondence). If you cannot respond in the requested period of time, please call the contact person named in the correspondence.
- Call the contact person named in the correspondence if you have any questions. Have the letter or a copy of the email in front of you when you call. Before you call LLA with a question about correspondence you received, make sure that LLA sent the correspondence. LLA cannot answer questions about correspondence that originated from another state agency, such as the state Ethics Board. These questions need to be addressed by the agency that sent the correspondence.
- Maintain current contact information with LLA. If your agency’s contact information (e.g., email address of primary contact person, street address, telephone number) or key personnel change; or if you see incorrect contact information on LLA correspondence that comes to you, please contact LLA LGS staff to update your agency’s contact information.
- What are the consequences to a local auditee that does not engage their CPA firm within sixty days of its fiscal year end?
- My agency received an email from LLA stating that because it is more than sixty days after my agency’s fiscal year end and we had not engaged a CPA, we are required to submit sworn financial statements to LLA. We are in the process of engaging a CPA, and we don’t have the time or resources to stop that process and prepare sworn financial statements. What do we do?
- I received an email from LLA asking me to engage a CPA firm to perform my agency’s audit. We engaged a CPA firm a month ago. Should I send the signed engagement agreement to LLA as proof that we have engaged a CPA firm?