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Audit Functions

Tennessee is a leader in government accountability. Through the Department of Audit, the Comptroller’s Office is responsible for ensuring financial integrity in regards to a governmental entity’s financial position and results of operations, compliance with applicable statutes, grant agreements, rules and regulations, and/or its record of efficiency and effectiveness.

The Department of Audit comprises three divisions:

The department performs its audits in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States and generally accepted government auditing standards issued by the Comptroller General of the United States in Government Auditing Standards (Yellow Book).

The Division of State Audit aids the legislature in ensuring that state government is accountable to the citizens of Tennessee. State Audit conducts financial and compliance audits, performance audits, information systems audits, attestation engagements, and special studies to provide the General Assembly, Governor, and citizens of Tennessee with objective information about the state’s financial condition and the performance of the state’s agencies and programs. The division also audits the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and the Single Audit Report.

State Audit is organized into three audit sections:

State Agency Audits Section
This section audits functional areas of departments, agencies, and institutions of state government, as well as federally-sponsored programs, in accordance with the Single Audit Act. Through the audit of the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and other audits, the section determines whether financial operations are conducted properly, whether financial statements are presented fairly, and whether the organization has complied with applicable laws, regulations, and grant agreements. This section also conducts performance audits to provide information on the efficiency and effectiveness of government agencies and programs in accordance with the Governmental Entity Review Law. The section presents the audit results to the General Assembly’s Government Operations Committees. The State Agency Audits section may conduct other performance audits as risks are identified in statewide processes and programs or agency-specific operations and activities.

Information Systems Audit Section
This section supports the work of the other audit sections by performing information systems reviews of state agencies, colleges, and universities and performing data retrieval and computer forensic analysis.

Medicaid/TennCare Audit Section
Under an agreement with the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, this section provides audit, rate-setting, and consulting services for the Medicaid nursing facility program and for critical access hospitals, federally-qualified health centers, and rural health clinics under the TennCare program.

State Audit Leadership

Deborah Loveless (Bio) Director Deborah.Loveless@cot.tn.gov 615.747.5258
Ed Burr Assistant Director,
State Agency Audits
Ed.Burr@cot.tn.gov 615.401.7897
Shirley A. Henry
Assistant Director, 
Administration and Audit Planning
Shirley.Henry@cot.tn.gov
615.747.5253
Julie Rogers
Assistant Director,
Medicaid/TennCare Audit
Julie.A.Rogers@cot.tn.gov
615.747.5216
Kandi Thomas
Assistant Director,
State Agency Audits
Kandi.Thomas@cot.tn.gov
615.401.7897
Dan Willis
Assistant Director,
Training and Information Systems Audit
Daniel.Willis@cot.tn.gov
615.747.5247

The Division of Local Government Audit is responsible for the annual audits of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Division staff currently conduct audits in 90 of those counties. Audits in the remaining five counties are conducted by private Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). County audits incorporate the various offices, departments, and entities of county government.

This division ensures that municipalities, public internal school funds, certain quasi- governmental entities, utility districts, housing authorities, charter schools, and certain nonprofit and for-profit organizations receiving funds from the State of Tennessee are audited as required by state statute. These audits are performed by CPAs.

The staff assigned to audit the counties are divided into four geographical areas: east, mideast, middle, and west. Each area has an audit manager responsible for audit planning and staff supervision for the county audits assigned to that area. Additionally, information systems audit staff are assigned to each area and perform general and application control reviews.

The division also approves contracts for the audits conducted by CPAs. Division staff review audit reports and selected audit working papers of CPAs for compliance with generally accepted government auditing standards, reporting requirements, state and federal statutes, and certain standards prescribed by the Comptroller of the Treasury. These contracted audits include audits of Tennessee’s:

  • 342 municipalities;
  • 62 municipal-related entities;
  • 179 utility districts;
  • 86 housing authorities;
  • 3 housing authority-related entities;
  • 18 human resource agencies and development districts
  • 104 other quasi-governmental entities;
  • 148 public internal school funds;
  • 55 charter schools;
  • 1 charter school-related entity; and
  • Approximately 224 nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

The division also approves audit contracts and reviews audit reports of:

  • 270 county-related entities and
  • 13 special school districts.

Local Government Audit Leadership

Jim Arnette (Bio) Director Jim.Arnette@cot.tn.gov 615.401.7841
Penny Austin Assistant Director,
Information Systems
Penny.Austin@cot.tn.gov 615.401.7841
Bryan Burklin Assistant Director,
Financial and Compliance Audits
Bryan.Burklin@cot.tn.gov 615.401.7841
Rachelle Cabading Assistant Director,
Administration
Rachelle.Cabading@cot.tn.gov 615.401.7953
Jerry Durham Assistant Director,
Standards Research and Compliance/
Contract Audits
Jerry.Durham@cot.tn.gov 615.401.7841

The Division of Investigations supports the office’s audit function by investigating allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse in government and publicly-funded entities and by working closely with law enforcement and prosecutors on criminal allegations.

The division reports the results of its investigations, including significant internal control and compliance deficiencies noted during the investigations, to the appropriate parties.

The division also provides requested assistance and appropriate information to citizens, auditors, public officials and policy-makers at all levels of government, other state departments and agencies, law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies and other interested parties.

Investigations Leadership

Jeff Puckett (Bio) Director Jeff.Puckett@cot.tn.gov 615.401.3003
Rene Brison Deputy Chief Investigator Rene.Brison@cot.tn.gov 615.401.7907
Kevin Huffman Deputy Chief Investigator
Kevin.Huffman@cot.tn.gov 615.401.7843
Christy Tennant Deputy Chief Investigator Christy.Tennant@cot.tn.gov 615.762.7610