External audit reports: the role of the audit committee
29 March 2021
In the context of ongoing financial pressures and change in the NHS, the need for strong financial and governance arrangements is particularly important. Auditors provide a key source of information to audit committee members, and the public, in determining and reporting on the financial statements, VFM arrangements and other matters.
The audit committee has a crucial role in scrutinising these arrangements. Committee members must ensure that they fully understand external audit reports so that they are in a position to effectively scrutinise and challenge actions being taken to address issues being raised.
This short paper, updated in March 2021 to reflect the 2020 Code of audit practice, is intended to support audit committee members to easily understand the range of external audit reports and additional powers.