What are the benefits of opting in to PSAA’s scheme?

PSAA….

  • is the Government’s choice to run this vital procurement – MHCLG’s Spring statement confirmed our appointment because of our “strong technical expertise and the proactive work they have done to help to identify improvements that can be made to the process
  • has a specialist, experienced team who will use that technical expertise and sector knowledge to make transparent and independent auditor appointments for you
  • aims to procure an audit service of the required quality at a realistic market price and to support the drive towards a long term competitive and more sustainable market for local audit. The focus of our quality assessment will include resourcing capacity and capability including sector knowledge, and client relationship management and communication
  • is very familiar working with the complexities of the evolving local audit framework and regulations when making your auditor appointments, managing contracts with audit firms, and setting and determining audit fees
  • is a not-for-profit organisation whose costs are around 4% of the total scheme costs, and we distribute any surplus back to you and your fellow scheme members
  • independently assesses proposed fee variations, authorising billing only when satisfied that the proposal is justified and in line with the requirements of the statutory regulations
  • is an active member of the new Local Audit Liaison Committee, chaired by MHCLG and attended by key local audit stakeholders, enabling us to feed in body and audit perspectives to decisions about changes to the local audit framework, and the need to address timeliness through actions across the system
  • conducts research to raise awareness of local audit issues, and works with MHCLG and other stakeholders to enable changes arising from Sir Tony Redmond’s review, such as more flexible fee setting and a timelier basis to set scale fees

Opting in….

  • is we believe the best option for securing the appointment of a qualified, registered auditor in the current challenging market – there are currently only nine registered suppliers
  • avoids the need to undertake an auditor procurement and ongoing contract management activities (such as fee variation management), saving local time, effort and cost, including establishing an Auditor Panel with an independent chair to oversee a local procurement and running of the contract. A panel must have a minimum of three members, with a majority who are independent of your organisation
  • is the most efficient solution for the sector – collective procurement is much less time-consuming for bodies (and for auditors) than a multiplicity of local, smaller procurements
  • gives you free access to our Local Audit Quality Forum and webinar events on key topics
  • needs to be done by 11 March 2022 – if you decide not to opt in by this date you will not have another opportunity to join the scheme until 1 April 2023 at the earliest. In the case of late entrants PSAA is entitled to recover any costs incurred in sourcing an auditor for you

And finally, please note that…

  • the scope of local audit is fixed, as it is defined by statute and by accounting and auditing codes – it would be the same under any local procurement as under PSAA’s procurement
  • some typical services contract levers such as penalties for late delivery cannot be applied to an audit services contract, as fees calculated on the basis of a specified outcome (eg specific date completions) are classified as contingent fees, not allowed under the FRC’s Ethical Standard

Please contact [email protected] for further information or if you have any questions