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From the Editor
By Alicia Cline

Hey Auditors! Here’s your winter issue, just in time for Christmas! The perfect last-minute gift idea for the person who has everything.

And we acknowledge that it is much more difficult to print, laminate, and bind the web version of the LGAQ to hand out at Christmas. Thank you to everyone who emailed and provided feedback about our first attempt at an online-only quarterly. While the feedback was largely positive, we understand some of you prefer (or strongly prefer) printing out the quarterly. While we will not be able to address this immediately, we promise we are looking for a solution. In the meantime, keep the feedback coming to . I do get inexplicably excited every time an email comes through. Positive or negative, we can handle it.

Now I’m going to get uncharacteristically serious for a moment—hang with me. I currently live and work in Sacramento, about 100 miles south of the town where I was born and raised: Paradise, California. Last month, Paradise was devastated by the Camp Fire, which is now California’s largest wildfire. The fire destroyed more than 18,000 structures and displaced tens of thousands of people, including several members of my family and many of my childhood friends. Thankfully, my friends and family are safe, and my community is resilient. Witnessing the outpouring of kindness and support has been an incredible experience.

But, everyone lost everything, and residents of my home town are relying on several organizations and agencies to help them get their lives back on track. Given the scale of the disaster and the infrequency of this type of event, the involved agencies will undoubtedly have the chance to reflect and identify process improvements and inefficiencies that can improve the response to future disasters. There are also many unanswered questions. How did this happen? How can we prevent it from happening again? I believe this is where local government auditors have the opportunity work with these agencies and citizens to provide transparency and accountability for the decisions and actions related to this disaster.

And, unfortunately, it is in situations like these when citizens are most vulnerable that the opportunity for fraud and abuse is most prevalent—which brings us to this quarter’s topic. How do auditors assess fraud risk, and how far can we go to find it? How do we develop meaningful recommendations that help agencies minimize the risk of fraud? As always, our membership has the answers.

Okay, I know I killed the mood right before Christmas, so let’s just move on and talk about next quarter’s topic—Adaptable Auditing: Creativity, Innovation, and Automation. Fun! Also, just a reminder, don’t feel that you must limit yourself to each quarter’s topic. If you have an audit story burning in your heart, share it with us! Variety is good, and we just love hearing from you. We hope your holidays are wonderful, and we’ll see you in the spring!


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