Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an issue with the contract management being at one step removed under the PSAA regime which is perhaps the price for the benefits of centralised procurement?

The local audit framework, the respective roles of the different players, e.g. the FRC, NAO, ICAEW, MHCLG and PSAA, and the nature of public audit means that any contract for the delivery of a code-compliant local audit will be different to a normal services contract.  PSAA (or local bodies) cannot specify the audit work or […]

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Our audit isn’t even starting until after the deadline for publishing the audited accounts surely there must be scope for a penalty payment in this instance?

This is a result of the current problems, including the resource shortage and backlog, complicated by the impact of Covid which essentially has slowed the whole process down. The FRC’s Ethical Standard precludes contracts that contain fees that vary according to a pre-determined measure (for example specifying a date by which an audit opinion must […]

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Our current auditor disagreed with the approach taken by the previous auditor which created a large amount of work which costing time and effort – how does this work efficiently or even reliably?

Once appointed auditors are independent and the decisions that they take are down to their professional judgements. There may be differences in judgement between years by individuals from the same firm as views change or where more evidence becomes available. We are reviewing the circumstances that you describe for the next contract to see if […]

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Politicians experience adverse publicity due to late audits, how can PSAA get this message out to all councils about these issues and support both councils and the audit partners in explaining this story?

We have spoken and written often of the systemic issues facing the local audit system in the consultation documents and communications sent to s151 officers and Audit Committee Chairs, and will continue to do so. Tony Crawley, PSAA’s Chief Executive, gave evidence at the recent (May 2021) Public Accounts Committee enquiry on the timelines of […]

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Should we pay more to encourage auditors into the sector?

Our proposed 80:20 quality to price tender evaluation ratio shows we recognise the importance of quality, but price will still be important. As 100% of our services are supplied by the private sector, the audit firms will set the prices. Of course we do need to balance encouraging auditors with the fact that public bodies […]

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