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Local public audit in England

ICAEW is now responsible for the licensing, registering and monitoring of auditors who wish to carry out audits of local public bodies. This page explains what accountancy firms and individuals need to do to become a registered local auditor under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

Background

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act) came into force on 31 January 2014. The Act abolished the Audit Commission and established new arrangements for the audit and accountability of local public bodies in England. Under the new framework, local government and health bodies are able to procure and appoint their own auditors.

The FRC has granted ICAEW a recognition order to be a recognised supervisory body (RSB). This came into force on 1 November 2015. Under this framework, ICAEW is responsible for the licensing, registering and monitoring of auditors who carry out audits of local public bodies. 

Local Auditor Register

The full list of registered local auditors and key audit partners can be found here

Frequently asked questions

We have received a number of queries in relation to the application process and have therefore developed a list of the frequently asked questions. This will be updated with any new questions that we receive.

Working in the regulated area of local audit

This work is reserved by law to a registered local auditor. Generally it is audit work in relation to a local body (or relevant authority as defined by Section 2 of the Act). Firms should also note that this doesn’t, however, reflect the inclusion of NHS trusts and special trustees by virtue of Schedule 13 – and then the disapplication of this by SI 2015/975. 

What is a registered local auditor?

A registered local auditor is a firm that undertakes regulated local audit work. It is registered with an RSB such as ICAEW. 

When does a firm need to become a registered auditor?

Under Schedule 5, section 4 of the Act, a firm can only accept appointment as a local auditor if it’s a registered local auditor under the rules of a RSB such as ICAEW.

The new framework came into operation on 1 April 2015. However, because there were existing contracts in place which post-dated the abolition of the Audit Commission, the new framework will not become actively operational until existing audit contracts expire. Health bodies will procure contracts for the audit of 2017/18 accounts and local government will procure contracts for the audit of 2018/19 accounts. During the transition period, existing contracts will be managed by Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited, a new body created for this purpose.

How can my firm become a registered local auditor?

If your firm wants to become a registered local auditor, it will need to:

How can I become a key audit partner?

Individuals, who sign local audit reports within a registered local audit firm, are called key audit partners (KAPs). The detailed eligibility requirements are set by the Act and the FRC’s Guidance to Recognised Supervisory Bodies on the Approval of Key Audit Partners for local audit. They include a requirement to:

  • hold an appropriate qualification;
  • meet relevant eligibility criteria; and
  • be nominated by the firm as a key audit partner.

The requirements are detailed in the Local Audit Regulations and Guidance.

In discussion and agreement with the FRC, ICAEW has also developed specific guidance for the eligibility, defining what constitutes ‘local audit’ and ‘similar audit work’

Please fill in the key audit partner application form.

If you need to provide evidence of your practical training, our supplementary training record form can be found here.

If you move to a new firm, you must reapply for key auditor partner status.

The full list of licensed key audit partners can be found here.

Local audit affiliate

To become an audit affiliate, please complete the application for local audit affiliate status.

Where to send your application

Please fill in the relevant forms and return them to:

Regulatory Support
ICAEW
Metropolitan House
321 Avebury Boulevard
Milton Keynes
MK9 2FZ UK

Contact us

If you have any questions about your application please email regulatory.support@icaew.com and put ‘local public audit application’ in the subject header. 

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