Frequently Asked Questions

How far must an auditor not meet their contractual obligations before PSAA will intervene and are there any repercussions for the audited body?

There are no direct repercussions for the audited body, but we recognise the problems that delayed audits cause. The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 set out the requirements for publishing accounts. There is a statutory deadline for the publication of audited financial statements, but this is only applicable when the body has audited accounts to […]

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How will the appointing person scheme manage a situation where an opted-in body is dissatisfied with its auditor and wants a change (e.g. because of quality, relationships, or a conflict of interest)?

Where an opted-in body is dissatisfied with its auditor, concerns should be raised in the first instance with the appointed auditor’s Engagement Lead and subsequently with the firm’s PSAA Contact Partner (as indicated on communications between the auditor and the body). If the body is not satisfied with the response of the auditor, then the […]

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How would you respond to the argument that current fee rates are a barrier to entry for some firms?

Current fees are driven by the rates paid to our firms, which fully reflect the bid rates specified in their tender responses to our 2017 procurement. It is the bids that drive the fees rather than the fees that drive the bids. In very simple terms: PSAA collates and reviews all the winning bids, adds […]

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If an eligible body has decided not to opt in to the appointing person scheme, what local arrangements need to be put in place?

All relevant authorities listed in schedule 2 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act), whether they have opted in or not, are required to comply with Part 3 of the Act in relation to the appointment of local auditors. Section 7 of the Act requires a relevant authority to appoint a local […]

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If we decide to make local arrangements, can we reduce the audit services fee if the audit opinion is not delivered by the statutory publishing date?

The terms of the contract through which an auditor is appointed by local arrangements will determine how the service is provided and the remuneration arrangements. The Ethical Standard issued by the FRC in December 2019 precludes contingent fees on audit engagements. A contingent fee basis includes any arrangement made at the outset of an engagement […]

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If we decide to make local arrangements, can we specify what the audit covers?

Whether an auditor is appointed by PSAA or by local arrangements, the specification of a local audit is fixed. It is determined by the requirements of the: NAO’s Code of Audit Practice which sets the scope of the audit; the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting published by CIPFA/LASSAC which sets the format of […]

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If you can’t deliver improved timeliness of audits what are you going to do to help – it feels like the the auditors have all the control?

Issues with the timeliness of audit opinion delivery are caused by a variety of factors and PSAA shares your views and recognises your disappointment and frustration at the prospect of a delayed 2020/21 audit process. In common with all stakeholders in the local audit system, we want to see the earliest possible return to a […]

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In addition to the Code of Audit Practice requirements set by the NAO, will the contracts include the audit of wholly owned companies and group accounts?

Local authority group accounts are part of the accounts produced under the CIPFA code of practice on local authority accounting and are subject to audit in line with the NAO Code of Audit Practice. They will continue to be part of the statutory audit for which PSAA makes an auditor appointment for opted-in bodies. Local […]

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In terms of sustainability that provides a contingency option, which provides a benchmark on fee levels and could facilitate training and development of auditors, is the option of a public sector supplier similar to the former District Audit Service not an option being considered?

There are numerous very significant hurdles to creating a public sector auditor, and addressing them is not in PSAA’s gift. We are not aware of anyone pursuing this option.

Read more on In terms of sustainability that provides a contingency option, which provides a benchmark on fee levels and could facilitate training and development of auditors, is the option of a public sector supplier similar to the former District Audit Service not an option being considered?