External audit for smaller authorities (under £6.5 million).
Under powers set out in Regulation 3 of the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015, Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments (SAAA) is the sector led company appointed by the Department of Communities and Local Government as the ‘specified person to appoint local auditors’ and as the Sector Led Body (SLB) for smaller authorities.
Under the regulations, SAAA is responsible for appointing external auditors to 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.
The external auditor for Cambridgeshire will be PKF Littlejohn.
The Annual Return will now be known as the ‘Annual Governance and Accountability Return’ and will need to be completed in accordance with “proper practices” as set out in “Governance and Accountability for Smaller Authorities in England, a Practitioners’ Guide”, and then published in accordance with the applicable Transparency Codes.
The new forms will be sent out electronically by your appointed auditor at the end of the financial year. The return can either be completed electronically or printed off and filled in by hand. If you are not willing or able to receive the documents electronically you need to specifically advise the SAAA of this by 31st December, 2017.
Advice and assistance is available from the sector specific membership organisations as detailed below.
National Association of Local Councils – http://www.nalc.gov.uk (County Association – capalc.org.uk)
Society of Local Council Clerks – http://www.slcc.co.uk