Protecting the public purse

Auditor reporting

Annual audit letters

The Audit Commission’s Code of Audit Practice requires auditors to prepare an annual audit letter and issue it to each audited body.

The purpose of preparing and issuing annual audit letters is to communicate to the audited body and key external stakeholders, including members of the public, the key issues arising from auditors’ work, which auditors consider should be brought to the attention of the audited body. The annual audit letter covers the work carried out by auditors since the previous annual audit letter was issued.

Whilst the format of the letter is not prescribed it should highlight the key issues drawn from reports to those charged with governance and auditors’ conclusions on relevant aspects of the audit. It should be prepared in clear language that is concise and accessible to a wide audience.

Annual audit letters are addressed to all members of local government bodies and directors of NHS bodies. Although some audited bodies are not subject to a statutory requirement to publish their annual audit letters, auditors encourage the audited body to publicise the availability of the letter.

Find an annual audit letter for an audited body.

Public interest reports

Under Section 8 of the Audit Commission Act 1998, the appointed auditor is required to consider whether to issue a report in the public interest on any significant matter coming to his or her notice in the course of an audit, and to bring it to the attention of the audited body and the public. View all public interest reports published since January 2012.

Older annual audit letters and public interest reports are available via the archive.