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What are the five ethical principles according to GAGAS?

The five principles below are outlined by GAGAS to ensure that the auditor is serving the public interest while conducting their work with integrity and objectivity. The five ethical principles are:

1) Serving the public interest – The auditor should conduct their work with the public’s best interest in mind. Remember, you are a key line of defense in protecting the capital markets from error & fraud in a company’s financial statements!

2) Integrity – The auditor should conduct their work with an objective attitude and provide an anecdotal report that is considered nonpartisan and nonideological with regard to the audited entities and users of the audit report.

3) Objectivity – Will include independence of mind and appearance when providing audit reports. Furthermore, the audit work conducted should be done with an attitude of impartiality, and free from conflicts of interest (i.e. threats to independence like financial interests).

4) Proper use of government information, resources, and position – Government information, resources, and positions are to be used for official purposes and not inappropriately for the auditor’s personal gain or in a manner contrary to law or detrimental to the legitimate interests of the audited entity or the audit organization. This concept includes the proper handling of sensitive or classified information or resources.

5) Professional behavior – The auditor should act ethically and follow all professional standards and not be in put a position where the auditor’s credibility can be questioned.


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  • What is GAGAS?

    GAGAS is an acronym for “Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards. GAGAS provides the audit standards that should be followed for governmental audits. GAGAS is regulated by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). GAGAS is also commonly referred to as the “Yellow Book”.

  • What is the government accountability office (GAO)?

    The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress that is responsible for examining how taxpayer dollars are spent. The GAO also issues and manages GAGAS, which is the auditing standards used to guide the audit of an government related entity.

  • What are the five ethical principles according to GAGAS?

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