Under powers set out in Regulation 3 of the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015, Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments Ltd (SAAA) was appointed by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as “a person specified to appoint local auditors” and as the Sector Led Body (SLB) for smaller authorities. Smaller authorities are those whose gross annual income or expenditure is less than £6.5 million.
Under the Regulations, SAAA is responsible for appointing external auditors to all applicable opted-in smaller authorities, for setting the terms of appointment for limited assurance reviews and for managing the contracts with the appointed audit firms. On 30 November 2016 SAAA announced the conclusion of its procurement process and the award of limited assurance review contracts for five years to the successful external audit firms. Responsibilities under the new contracts will relate to accounts for the financial year beginning on 1 April 2017.
Separately, each smaller authority is required to appoint its own Independent Internal Auditor who will inspect and approve the Council’s financial systems and accounts before these are submitted for internal inspection. This Internal Audit takes place during the financial year which enables the Internal Auditor to complete the relevant Annual Internal Audit Report as part of the end of year exercise.