About the Auditor General
The Auditor General assists City Council in holding itself and staff accountable to taxpayers of the City of Toronto. This includes reviews of City services and how public funds are used. Learn how the Auditor General helps keep the City accountable in the sections below.
“To be recognized as a leading audit organization, respected by our clients and peers for excellence, innovation and integrity, in supporting the City of Toronto to become a world class organization.”
The Auditor General is responsible for assisting City Council in holding itself and City administrators accountable for the quality of stewardship over public funds and for achievement of value for money in City operations.
The Auditor General’s Office is independent of management and has the authority to conduct financial, operational, compliance, information systems, forensic and other special reviews of:
- most City departments
- City agencies and corporations
- local boards provided for under the City of Toronto Act
- other entities the City is related to or has an interest in
Under the City of Toronto Act, 2006, several City organizations are excluded from the Auditor General’s review. They are:
- Toronto Police
- Toronto Public Health
- Toronto Library Board
City Council has given the Auditor General authority to perform audits at these entities if requested by the entities’ governing body.
In addition, the Auditor General does not have authority to audit:
- Toronto Hydro
- Toronto Economic Development Corporation
The Auditor General may conduct reviews of these separate Corporations if requested by City Council.
A completely separate Internal Audit Division, reporting to the City Manager, provides risk and business consulting services to senior management, as well as independent and objective assurance that the systems for which management is responsible function properly.
The Auditor General’s Office is responsible for:
- conducting audits on behalf of City Council in the areas of finance (excluding attest), operations, compliance and performance, and conducting other audits as appropriate
- undertaking forensic investigations, including investigations of suspected fraudulent activities
- overseeing the work of external auditors performing financial statement or attest audits
- carrying out special assignments identified by the Auditor General or approved by a 2/3 majority resolution of Council
- providing assurance that the City’s information technology infrastructure contains adequate controls and security
- managing the Fraud and Waste Hotline
- referring issues to divisional management and the Internal Audit Division as appropriate
An extremely important component of any audit process is the follow-up of audit recommendations made. There is little benefit to an audit unless recommendations resulting from the audit are implemented.
Annual Work Plan
The Auditor General’s Office publishes a yearly work plan which identifies and ranks projects to be completed based on a number of risk factors. The Auditor General’s work plan is reported to Council through the Audit Committee. Council may not delete any project from the work plan and may only add to the work plan with a 2/3 majority resolution of Council.
The audit process is an independent, objective assurance activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. The audit process assists an organization to accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes.
The Auditor General’s Office is committed to achieving a high level of audit quality. Our quality assurance framework provides a reasonable assurance that the audits done by the Office meet recognized professional standards.
The City of Toronto’s Audit Committee is comprised of six members, appointed from the elected members of City Council. They exercise responsibility in three areas: financial reporting, corporate governance and corporate control.
The Audit Committee is responsible for:
- recommending the appointment of the City’s external auditor
- recommending the appointment of an external auditor to conduct the annual audit of the Auditor General’s office
- reviewing the annual external audit of the financial statements of the City and its agencies and corporations
- reviewing the annual external audit of the Auditor General’s office
- reviewing the Auditor General’s reports and audit plan
- conducting an annual review of the Auditor General’s accomplishments
- making recommendations to Council on reports the Audit Committee considers
- reviewing performance audits and other reports of the Auditor General concerning City agencies and City corporations
In order to strengthen and reinforce accountability, transparency and oversight of government expense claims, the Office voluntarily discloses the travel and hospitality expenses of the Auditor General as well as the three Directors.
The Auditor General’s Office is subject to the following external audits.
Annual Compliance Audit
The Auditor General’s Office undergoes an annual compliance audit by a separate and independent external auditor, appointed by and reporting to City Council. The annual compliance audit provides Council assurance that the Auditor General’s Office is carrying out its operations within delegated authorities and in compliance with applicable City bylaws and policies.
Independent Quality Assurance Review
The Auditor General’s Office complies with Government Auditing Standards. These Standards require that audit organizations undergo an external independent quality assurance review at least once every three years. The objective of a quality assurance review is to determine whether an audit organization’s internal quality control system is in place and operating effectively. A quality assurance review provides assurance that established policies and procedures and applicable auditing standards are being followed.
The Auditor General’s Office underwent its third quality assurance review during August 2012. No other audit office in Canada has undergone this process. Two reports were issued by representatives from the Association of Local Government Auditorsan independent professional body which conducts a significant number of quality assurance reviews throughout the U.S. Read both reports.
Annual Attest Audit
Section 139 of the City of Toronto Act, 2006 requires the City to appoint a licensed auditor who is responsible for annually auditing the accounts and transactions of the City’s finances including its local boards. In an annual attest audit, the auditor performs the procedures and tests considered necessary to gain assurance that the entity’s financial statements are accurate.
The City’s attest audit includes the Office of the Auditor General.
Our staff have a wide variety of professional backgrounds in addition to their specialized audit training and certifications. This combination of training and experience allows our office to conduct our audits in a more efficient and effective manner.
Beverly Romeo-Beehler, Auditor General
Beverly Romeo-Beehler’s expertise in public sector audit, oversight, transparency and accountability spans a 27-year career. Beverly has worked for Auditor General Offices across all three levels of Government.
As an Assistant Auditor General in BC she led national initiatives for Auditors General, including serving as Chair of the Auditor General National Performance Audit Conference and leading the National Audit Learning Network collaboration.
Beverly’s leadership in senior executive BC Government positions resulted in her receiving several high-profile leadership awards including awards from the Premier for ‘Service Excellence’ and ‘Organizational Transformation.’ Beverly also served as a senior reviewer of public complaints against the RCMP and worked with the National Defence Ombudsman in Ottawa.
Beverly is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and has received recognition for providing extraordinary service to the CMA profession. She is a non-practicing lawyer and holds a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She has completed the Director’s Education Program at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. She has received her Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D) and is Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF).
Beverly is a coal miner’s daughter from Cape Breton.