Accountants' Obligation to Report Evidence of Misconduct

Public accountants performing an audit of a political subdivision or a local public pension plan must report to the Office of the State Auditor (OSA) the discovery of evidence during the audit that points to nonfeasance, misfeasance, or malfeasance on the part of an officer or employee of the entity being audited. The reporting obligation includes an audit of a county; city; town; school district; metropolitan or regional agency; public corporation; local public pension plans; volunteer fire relief association; watershed district; sanitary district; regional public library district; park district; economic development authority; and housing and redevelopment authorities.

The report must be made “promptly” to both the OSA and the appropriate county attorney. "Prompt" reporting should be done prior to the routine filing of the public entity’s audit with the OSA. Especially in cases where evidence of fraud is discovered, the OSA may be able to assist with auditing or investigative services. The accountant is also required to provide the OSA and the county attorney with a copy of the completed audit report.

This mandatory reporting requirement is found in Minn. Stat. § 6.67. More information on the mandatory reporting requirement, please visit the OSA's Report a Concern webpage.

If you have questions about whether a report should be made, please contact Mark Kerr at 651-296-4717 or

Date this Avoiding Pitfall was most recently published: 2/19/2021