NAO launches guide for Audit and Risk Committees on Financial Reporting

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a new guide to help audit and risk committees of government departments and arms-length bodies advise their organisations on financial management and reporting during, and in the period immediately after, the Covid-19 outbreak.

NAO said audit and risk committees are “integral” to the financial scrutiny and challenge process. They support boards and the accounting officers of government departments and arms-length bodies on matters of financial accountability, assurance and governance.

They also advise organisations, provide expert challenges, and make recommendations on managing risk.

The NAO’s guide provides questions audit and risk committee members can ask to understand and challenge the activities that organisations have undertaken during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The guide can be used by audit and risk committee members working in:

  • Annual Reports
  • Financial Reporting
  • Control Environment
  • Regularity of expenditure

The NAO said: “Each organisation will have existing risk management processes in place, but risk appetite may have changed as a result of Covid-19, for the organisation to operate effectively and respond in a timely manner.

“This may result in a weakening of controls in some areas, increasing the likelihood of other risks occurring. Organisations will need to consider how long this change in risk appetite is sustainable for.”

The guide can be found here

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