Government Accountability Office - GAO


DEFINITION of 'Government Accountability Office - GAO'

A department of the U.S. government that monitors and audits government spending. The General Accountability Office (GAO) tracks how the legislative and executive branches of the government use tax-payer dollars and then reports the findings directly to Congress. The Comptroller General serves as head of the GAO.

BREAKING DOWN 'Government Accountability Office - GAO'

The GAO serves as a sort of financial watchdog over government spending. It monitors the operating results, financial positions and accounting systems used by the various governmental agencies. The GAO also conducts routine audits on all branches of government.

  1. Audit

    An unbiased examination and evaluation of the financial statements ...
  2. Comptroller General

    A high-ranking accounting position in the U.S. government. Appointed ...
  3. Taxpayer Identification Number ...

    A number that is assigned to a tax paying businesses for identification ...
  4. Audit Risk

    The risk that an auditor will not discover errors or intentional ...
  5. Financial Statements

    Records that outline the financial activities of a business, ...
  6. Auditor

    An official whose job it is to carefully check the accuracy of ...
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