Regulatory Compliance and Quality Review Programme 2019

Executive Summary

  1. We are pleased to present our Annual Quality Review Report 2019. This covers the work of local auditors appointed by PSAA for the 2017/2018 financial year. PSAA commissions audits that meet the requirements of the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice. This is the final year of audit work under the provisions of the Audit Commission Act 1998 as delegated to PSAA through transitional arrangements put in place by the Secretary of State.
  2. All five firms met our overall standards for audit quality and complying with our Terms of Appointment and our judgement is that the risk of audit failures (unsafe opinions) remains low.
  3. The results of satisfaction surveys undertaken by firms for 2017/18 audit work confirmed that audited bodies were generally satisfied or very satisfied with their auditor.
  4. Whilst the results show that in general firms are meeting our quality requirements overall, there are areas where the quality of local audit needs to improve. Although the audit reviews covered a small non-statistical sample the main areas of concern highlighted by the reviewers are all ones that have been raised each year for several years on auditing property and pension fund valuations.
  5. We are pleased that the results continue to show VFM arrangements conclusion work being completed to a consistently high standard. We note the current debate about the auditors remit in respect of VFM arrangements work and await any revisions in requirements of auditors when the new Code of Audit Practice for 2020/21 is applied.
  6. We will continue to work with all parts of the financial reporting supply chain (regulators, auditors, finance staff and those charged with governance) to improve audit quality.

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