Internal Audit Forum — the voice for local council audit
AUTHOR: ELEANOR GREENE, SECRETARY TO THE INTERNAL AUDIT FORUM
What was once an informal local grouping of internal auditors is now formalised with a website and a plan.
Forum members from all over England and Wales are looking to share advice and experience to improve standards in the parish and town council audits and to support councils on the path to excellent governance and controls and thus accountability and service delivery.
We are already working with NALC, county associations, SLCC, JPAG and other local council governance stakeholders to improve standards and procedures constantly.
Sections 4 and 5 of the Practitioners' Guide prove their worth, but there is more to do.
We believe well-run councils can do more for their communities.
For small councils, the internal auditor is the only external professional adviser who has to look at their systems.
We would like every council to have access to a good internal auditor and to make the best use of them.
To that end, we have set up a website with information about Parish Internal Audit.
It includes a directory of auditors who are engaged in improving standards and services.
Please have a look and a read and let us know what you think and suggest your favourite audit guidance document.
We have included links to some of the old Practitioners' Guides, particularly that from 2010 that contained useful supporting documents that are not in the current guide but assist good practice.
There will be a website discussion board within the site for full member internal auditors – to allow more detailed sharing of best practices.
There are no formal qualifications to become a parish internal auditor, but a commitment to governance, accountability and transparency is a great place to start.
If you are an internal auditor, a clerk who would like to become an internal auditor, or an accountant looking for a new work area, please get in touch.
Our next full forum meeting is in late September – by which time all councils should know who their external auditor for the next five years will be and the new fee scale.
And we have still not found the collective noun for Parish Internal auditors. Any suggestions?