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The consultation on the draft text of the new Code of Audit Practice closed on 22 November 2019. We are very grateful to those who took the time to participate in the consultation. The final draft of the Code has now been laid in Parliament and, subject to Parliamentary approval, will come into force on […]

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August 21, 2019

The consultation on the draft text of the new Code of Audit Practice closed on 22 November 2019. We are very grateful to those who took the time to participate in the consultation.

The final draft of the Code has now been laid in Parliament and, subject to Parliamentary approval, will come into force on 1 April 2020. The new Code will apply from audits of local bodies’ 2020-21 financial statements onwards:

New Code of Audit Practice [PDF – 262 KB]

We have also published a document that sets out the issues we have considered as a result of the feedback to Stage 2 of the consultation on the exposure draft of the Code, and highlights the key changes made to the text of the final draft of the Code:

Code of Audit Practice Consultation Stage 2 Response [PDF – 130KB]

We are now developing the detailed statutory Auditor Guidance Notes (AGNs) that will support the new Code. The most significant changes will be made to the guidance on auditor’s work on arrangements to secure value for money (AGN 03) and auditor reporting (AGN 07). We plan to engage with stakeholders to develop this guidance over the coming months and will consult publicly in the summer/autumn of 2020.  

The consultation 

Schedule 6 of the Act requires that the Code be reviewed, and revisions considered at least every five years. The current Code came into force on 1 April 2015, and the maximum five-year lifespan of the Code means it now needs to be reviewed and a new Code laid in Parliament in time for it to come in to force no later than 1 April 2020. 

In order to determine what changes might be appropriate, we consulted on potential changes to the Code in two stages. The consultation has now closed. 

Stage 1 involved engagement with key stakeholders and public consultation on the issues that are considered to be relevant to the development of the Code. 

We received a total of 41 responses to the consultation which included positive feedback on the two-stage approach to developing the Code that we adopted. We considered carefully the views of respondents in respect of the points drawn out from the issues paper and this informed the development of the draft Code. A summary of the responses received to the questions set out in the issues paper can be found below.  

Local audit in England Code of Audit Practice – Stage 1 Consultation Response [PDF – 256KB]  

Stage 2 of our consultation involved consulting on the draft text of the new Code. To support stage 2, we published a consultation document, which highlighted the key changes to each chapter of the draft Code.  The consultation document and a copy of the draft Code can be found below: 

Local audit in England: Code of Audit Practice – Consultation on draft Code [PDF – 61KB]  

Draft Code of Audit Practice [PDF – 355KB]  

We received a total of 38 responses to Stage 2 of the consultation.  

If you have any questions about our consultation on the new Code, you can contact the Local Audit Code and Guidance Team at LACG@nao.org.uk