October 2022 update

Welcome to our latest e-bulletin. In this edition we share news on the outcome of our procurement for the 2023/24 to 2027/28 audits, an update on our consultation on the scale fees for 2022/23, and additional information related to fee variations.

You can keep up to date with PSAA matters between these e-bulletins by following us on LinkedIn.

We hope you continue to find our e-bulletin useful. We welcome your feedback on future topics that you would like us to cover (contact the team).

Yours sincerely

Tony Crawley, Chief Executive, PSAA


Procurement outcome and consultation on auditor appointments

On 3 October 2022 we announced the outcome of our procurement of audit services for the 470 (99%) opted-in bodies for the audits from 2023/24 to 2027/28.

We offered contracts to six suppliers including retaining three existing suppliers, Grant Thornton, Mazars and Ernst & Young. We welcomed KPMG back to the market and new suppliers, Bishop Fleming and Azets Audit Services.

We will consult on the proposed fees for the audit of 2023/24 accounts in autumn 2023. Bodies should anticipate a major re-set of fees involving an increase of approximately 150% of total audit fees (scale fees plus fee variations), noting that the actual fees will depend on the amount of work required. So if your 2022/23 total audit fees are expected to be £100,000, your 2023/24 total audit fee is likely to be approximately £250,000.

On 17 October we commenced the consultation on proposed auditor appointments. Opted-in bodies are asked to respond by Monday 14 November 2022.

Update on our consultation on the fee scale for 2022/23 audits

Our consultation on the fee scale for 2022/23 audits closed on Friday 30 September. We invited all opted-in bodies, our contracted audit firms and key stakeholders to provide feedback on the consultation. Separately we informed opted-in bodies of the recurring fee variations that we propose to consolidate into their 2022/23 scale audit fee (if you have not received your email please contact us at workandfeesconsultation@psaa.co.uk).

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to the consultation and share their views. The PSAA Board will carefully consider all feedback at its November meeting. We will issue the final 2022/23 fee scale and our consultation response to all opted-in bodies and on our website no later than Wednesday 30 November 2022.

Additional information on fee variations for 2021/22 audits

In August we published a briefing to support fee variation discussions between opted-in bodies and auditors for the 2021/22 audits.

The briefing sets out further information on the expected impact on audit fees of the additional work needed under the Code of Audit Practice 2020 for auditors to produce a VFM commentary, and of other changes in auditing and accounting standards.

PSAA’s Annual Report and Accounts 2021/22

The 2021/22 annual report and accounts cover PSAA’s seventh full year of operation. The 2021/22 financial year has been challenging and turbulent for all parties involved in the local audit market.

A critical theme this year has been making plans and preparations for the second appointing period which starts in April 2023.

Local audit news from elsewhere

On 12 September Neil Harris started in his new role as Director of Local Audit at the FRC.

The Public Audit Forum issued a consultation on the 2022 revision of Practice Note 10. The consultation closed on 16 September. You can read PSAA’s response to the consultation on our website.

The NAO published an interactive guide on public sector corporate finance: Good practice guidance: Guide to corporate finance in the public sector.

The Local Audit Liaison Committee met on 11 October. DLUHC will publish minutes for this sixth meeting in the coming weeks. In the meantime the minutes for past meetings are available to view.

CIPFA/LASSAC issued its annual consultation on the 2023/24 Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code). The consultation closed on 14 October 2022. The 2023/24 Code will apply to accounting periods starting on or after 1 April 2023.

CIPFA published its updated guidance for audit committees: Audit Committees: Practical Guidance For Local Authorities And Police (2022 edition).