Where did it all go wrong on audit?

By Lorna Baxter | 23 June 2021
  • Lorna Baxter

‘Tis the season for your audit, fa la la. Except for many it’s not a reason to be jolly. Only 45% of councils had published their audited accounts for 2019-20 by the 30 November 2020 deadline. Where did it all go wrong?

The Redmond Review and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s response may help address some of the capacity and quality issues relating to audits but, for me, the larger issue is that our residents are quite unlikely to make head nor tail of the accounts and what they mean. They are not structured in a way that reflects how the budget is set or how it is reported on during the year. They are extremely complex, leading to the ever-lengthening audits.

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