Section 40. The director shall cause an audit to be made of the accounts of all cities and towns and of all districts and regional school districts of the commonwealth and may cause subsequent audits to be made of the accounts of each city and town annually, and of the accounts of each district and regional school district as often as once in two years or annually at the request of the prudential committee, if any, otherwise the commissioners, or the regional district school committee, and for this purpose he, and his duly accredited agents, shall have access to all necessary papers, books, and records. All accounts subject to audit by town auditors under section fifty-three of chapter forty-one shall be subject to audit by the director, and the trustees of any property the principal or income of which, in whole or in part, was bequeathed or given in trust for public uses for the benefit of the town or any part thereof, or for the benefit of the inhabitants of the town or any part thereof, shall give the director, or his duly accredited agents, access to their accounts, funds, securities and evidences of property for the purposes of the audit. Upon the completion of each audit as aforesaid, a report thereunder shall be made to the mayor and city government in cities, to the selectmen in towns, to the prudential committee and commissioners in a district, and to the regional district school committee in a regional school district, and a copy of the same shall be furnished to the city, town or district clerk, who shall cause the same or a summary of its essential features to be published at the expense of the city, town or district. The director, in his discretion, may give preference to audits upon petitions under section thirty-five or thirty-six over audits under this section.
Commencing with the fiscal year nineteen hundred and eighty-seven, regional school districts may satisfy the requirements of the Single Audit Act of 1984, 31 USC Sec. 7502, by causing audits of its records to be made annually or biennially by an independent auditor to be selected by such regional school districts to conduct such audits. Such audits shall be made in accordance with federal government auditing standards.