This week, we were really pleased to see an article from Rob Whiteman, CEO of CIPFA, recommending that eligible bodies opt in to our national scheme for auditor appointments, alongside talking about the recently announced measures to improve the vital issue of timeliness of local audit. Rob stresses the benefits of opting in to bring the sector together to meet the challenges ahead, which will need collaboration across all the bodies involved in the local audit system. We fully support Rob’s message, in that collective working with stakeholders and government is the best approach to ‘deliver transparency, timeliness, value for money and promote consistently high-quality audits.’
Here is a snippet from the article:
‘In December of last year, the government published its package of measures to support the improved timeliness of local audits. Only 9% of 2020/21 audits were completed by the extended deadline of 30 September 2021.
External audit provides local authorities and other local bodies with vital financial information and leads to effective service and financial planning. Completing audits on time increases transparency and accountability for their financial arrangements.
CIPFA has expressed concern over the significant delays we saw last year and we are working with the government and other stakeholders on a number of measures to improve this.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will be providing funding of £45m over the course of the next spending review period to help local public bodies strengthen and improve their financial reporting. CIPFA will also publish updated guidance on audit committees by April of this year, which will emphasise the role of committees in ensuring accounts are prepared to a high standard.’
You can read the full article ‘Working together as a sector, not individually, is the best way to address issues in local audit’.