August 2021 news bulletin

As our preparations for the second appointing period accelerate, we have created this e-bulletin to communicate news of our progress, wider aspects of our work and other developments that are relevant to local audit. We will also highlight selected key industry events and news that we are aware of and believe may be of interest to you and your team, but please note that this will not be intended to be a comprehensive list. Please also note that we do not have a remit to provide guidance on audit matters and do not attempt to do so.

We do hope that you will find it useful. We welcome your feedback, and if there are certain aspects, updates, or news that you would like us to cover in these bulletins please email the team with your suggestions.

Your sincerely

Tony Crawley, Chief Executive, PSAA

Content:

Consultation responses to our plans for the Second Appointing Period

PSAA recently completed two important consultations to gather feedback on its proposals for the national scheme of local auditor appointments from 2023/24. We asked local bodies and other local audit stakeholders to comment on our draft prospectus to inform the development of the scheme for the next period. In parallel, we asked current and potential suppliers for their views on our initial thinking on the key characteristics of the strategy for our planned procurement of audit services.

We are pleased today to announce that we have now published a report detailing the responses. We are extremely grateful for the responses to this consultation which have provided very helpful feedback on our proposals.

We are finalising the prospectus for the national scheme from April 2023 and the procurement strategy. Both documents will be published at www.psaa.co.uk in late September 2021 and referenced in the opt-in invitation that will be issued to all eligible bodies at the same time. Eligible bodies will have until Friday 11th March 2022 to formally respond and accept the opt-in invitation. Under the Regulations this is a decision that needs to be taken by Full Council (or for Corporations sole, by the holder of that office).

You can find out the latest information on our preparations for the second appointing period on our website and FAQs.

If you have any questions about the opt-in invitation process or other matters relating to our plans for the next appointing period, please contact us by email: [email protected].

£5.6m Distribution

On 20 August we published our 2020/21 audited statement of accounts. Our healthy financial position enables us to distribute a further £5.6 million of surplus funds to our opted-in eligible bodies.

The revenue PSAA receives must cover the costs of auditors and our operating expenses. PSAA operates on a not-for-profit basis. If we have funds that are not required to cover expected costs we return them to scheme members. We made similar distributions in 2017 of £5.6 million and in 2019 of £3.5 million.

The payment will be made on or around 13 September 2021. We have emailed each S151 Officer to confirm the amount to be paid to their authority.

Autumn/Winter webinar series

We will be running a series of free webinars aimed at S151 Officers and Audit Committee Chairs to provide the opportunity to find out more about aspects of our work. Your responses to the recent consultation on the draft prospectus for the national scheme from April 2023 told us that you wanted to know more about what we do and have more regular opportunities to engage with us. Each webinar will contain essential information that eligible bodies need to understand.

You can register to attend these free online events using the links below. Alternatively, if you wish to attend all events, please send details of your name, organisation, and email address to [email protected].

Wednesday 20 October 1-2pm: Understanding new local audit system – what we know to-date and how it may develop over the next few years

Wednesday 24 November 1-2pm: Understanding and managing auditor/auditee changes during the lifecycle of an appointing period

Wednesday 19 January 1-2pm: Understanding how we determine your audit fees and what might influence them over the next contract period

Wednesday 16 February 1-2pm: Understanding the 2022 audit services procurement strategy

Wednesday 16 March 1-2pm: Understanding our contract management arrangements

Other key PSAA dates coming up

  • w/c 20th September 2021 – formal opt-invitation to be issued
  • Friday 11th March 2022 – deadline for receipt of acceptance of the opt-in invitation

Local audit news from elsewhere

MHCLG is consulting further on its plans for local audit including the formation of the Audit, Governance and Reporting Authority (ARGA) as system leader: Local audit framework: technical consultation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Closing date 22 September 2021

CIPFA is consulting on the 2022-23 Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting: Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting 2022/23 | CIPFA. Closing date 11 October 2021