Frequently Asked Questions

Are you planning to set global fee variations that will be applied to all contracts when there is a change from the regulator on what audit coverage is required?

We are hoping that the changes to the scale fee setting arrangements proposed by MHCLG in its consultation will reduce the need for fee variations, and it is possible that ‘global’ changes will be dealt with through consultation.  In theory the scale fee should cover the costs of delivery of a Code of Practice Audit, […]

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Auditing is not just about legislation but about completing a set of accounts for our public – we don’t want to let them down by publishing a year later

As you might expect PSAA recognises and shares your disappointment and frustration at the prospect of a delayed 2020/21 audit process, adding to the existing backlog. We are very conscious of the adverse effects which flow from delayed audit opinions. They disrupt related work plans; they raise uncertainties in relation to the organisation’s financial position; […]

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Auditors used to employ valuers – will you consider allowing councils to pay more for specific requirements (valuers) within the contract?

We recognise that as part of the drive to improve audit quality the FRC is encouraging use of experts such as valuers, and audit firms can claim additional fees for appropriate use via the additional fees process.

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Can eligible local government or police bodies still opt in to the scheme for an appointing period if it did not accept the invitation to join the scheme?

An eligible body that does not accept the opt-in invitation for an appointing period may request to opt in during the appointing period only: for the audits 2018/19-2022/23, that is on or after 1 April 2018 for the audits 2023/24-2027/28, that is on or after 1 April 2023 PSAA must consider a request as the […]

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Contract lots – it would be beneficial if auditors covered the same county areas where there is 2 tier local government

In theory this would be beneficial. In practice this can be hard to achieve due to partnerships that span multiple county boundaries (e.g. two unitary councils working together). Once an authority has accepted our opt-in invitation we will request details of any shared or joint working arrangements that we need to consider when making an […]

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Do County Constabularies and their corresponding local Fire services tend to have the same auditor?

Some county constabularies and fire services do currently have the same appointed auditor. Back in 2016/7 after receiving notification that an authority had decided to opt into our scheme, we asked if there was a need for their authority to have the same appointed auditor as another opted-in local government, police or fire body or […]

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Do the appointing person arrangements cover the audit of an authority’s pension fund where it is the administrative body responsible for preparing the pension fund accounts?

Pension funds are not separate legal entities from their administering local authority for audit, and are therefore not listed as relevant authorities in schedule 2 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. The auditor appointment to an opted-in local authority includes the audit of the pension fund where the authority is the administering body. […]

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Does a minimum fee discourage or encourage innovation in audit approach – should there be a maximum fee, does one size fit all for an audit?

A feature of the PSAA system is that the audit fees are separate to the firms’ remuneration and so the minimum fee is about ensuring a fair contribution to the total pot needed to pay all auditors. Scale fees vary in line with the additional work needed. The changes we are seeking to the Regulations […]

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Does PSAA require its contracted audit firms to demonstrate how they will minimise environmental impact/address climate change issues?

PSAA’s audit services contracts covering the audits from 2018/19 to 2022/23 include a clause in relation to ‘Co-operation with PSAA on environmental issues’. This states that “Throughout the Contract the Supplier shall co-operate with PSAA in seeking reasonable and practical ways to improve the sustainability of the delivery of the Services” so there is a […]

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