ICAEW granted local audit regulatory powers

ICAEW has been granted Recognised Supervisory Body (RSB) status for local audit by the FRC.

The new powers mean ICAEW is now a regulator of firms that wish to undertake local audits for organisations such as councils and health bodies in England.

The change is a result of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, which sets out a new framework for the appointment and regulation of auditors for local public bodies in England. These local bodies will be able to appoint their own auditors and appointed audit firms will need to be registered with an RSB.

Audit firms and individuals seeking registration must meet a rigorous set of requirements. These include an appropriate professional qualification such as the ACA, relevant audit experience and up to date continuous professional development.

Vernon Soare, ICAEW executive director (pictured), said: “There is more scrutiny than ever on how public money is spent. Local audits promote confidence in the financial management of local bodies which provide vital services to their communities. The firms on the public audit register will have gone through a rigorous and thorough process to make sure they provide a high quality audit service.”

ICAEW initially expects to approve up to ten audit firms and 120 key audit partners, but hopes that further firms will enter the market over time.

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