The external audit: best practice in working well together
29 March 2021
The annual external audit is not only a key statutory requirement for NHS organisations, but should provide important and valuable insight into the financial governance of the organisation. The audit process itself can be a challenging one for all involved with tight timelines, remote working challenges and complex issues to resolve.
Based on feedback from auditors, finance professionals and non-executive directors (NEDs), the most essential ingredient for a smooth external audit is seeing the audit as a joint effort with ongoing discussion of plans and issues. To deliver a quality audit to time, as well as ensuring the experience is as painless as possible for all involved, requires ongoing planning, continuous communication and understanding of the pressures faced by all.
As the current year-end approaches, it is helpful to reflect on previous years’ experiences to plan for an audit that runs as smoothly as possible. This briefing, updated in March 2021, aims to support members by summarising the current audit context and sharing tips from those involved on what they have found to help the audit of the financial statements go as smoothly as possible.