Extending the deadlines beyond September is not the answer.

We appreciate the disruption that results from delayed audits, as summarised by the NAO in its report in March 2021 on the timeliness of local government audit reporting. We also recognise that the impact on bodies with small finance teams can be more intense. However, regardless of the statutory position or the contractual requirements, a shortage of the requisite skills and a higher quality requirement is resulting in increased delays.