Auditor appointment process from 1 April 2018

Appointments for all bodies that had opted into PSAA’s national appointing person scheme before 31 December 2017 were confirmed, following consultation, in December 2017.

From time to time it is necessary to make additional appointments, for example where a newly created body opts in. The process that applies for these appointments is explained below.

Developing proposals

PSAA is committed to audit quality. We have comprehensive contract management arrangements in place to secure good audit quality for our clients, and we publish regular monitoring reports on our suppliers’ audit services on this website. We take account of the results of monitoring when we make or review auditor appointments to our clients because audit quality is an overriding concern in each and every appointment we make. Alongside quality considerations, we also have regard to the following six principles to help us identify the most appropriate firm to appoint as auditor to any given local body:

  1. ensuring auditor independence;
  2. meeting our contractual commitments;
  3. accommodating joint/shared working arrangements where possible;
  4. ensuring a blend of authority types for each audit firm;
  5. taking account of a firm’s principal locations; and
  6. providing continuity of audit firm, if possible.

Of these six principles ‘ensuring auditor independence’ is given precedence because it is a fundamental tenet of the PSAA scheme and in our view  has a special significance in relation to securing audit quality.

Consulting on the proposed auditor appointment

We consult the opted-in body on the firm we propose to appoint as their auditor. Where a body accepts the appointment we propose, no further action is needed. We will confirm the appointment formally once it has been approved by the PSAA Board.

We recognise that in some instances there could be valid reasons why the proposed firm may not be appointed. Opted-in bodies therefore have the opportunity to make representations about the firm we have proposed, setting out the reasons formally in response to PSAA. The following may represent acceptable reasons:

  1. there is an independence issue, of which PSAA had not been informed;
  2. there are formal and relevant joint working arrangements, of which PSAA had not been informed; or
  3. there is another valid reason, for example a body can demonstrate a history of inadequate service from a particular firm.

Representations are considered carefully and PSAA makes a formal response in every case, whether accepted or rejected. Where representations are accepted, we consult on a revised appointment proposal.

Finalising and confirming appointments

The PSAA Board approves all proposed appointments, following consultation with audited bodies. The Board’s decision on the appointment of an auditor is final.