The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has said it “welcomes” the announcement that the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) will be the new systems leader for local audit.
It comes in response to the latest government announcement, which revealed that ARGA would replace the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).
As part of this process, ARGA will be “strengthened” with new powers over local government audit, protecting public funds and ensuring councils are “best serving taxpayers”.
The new regulator, which will contain a standalone local audit unit, will also bring all regulatory functions into one place, to “better coordinate” a new, simplified local audit framework.
However, Rob Whiteman, CEO of CIPFA said that his “concerns” around audit supply and market instability remain – stating that it is “vital” that any changes to the local audit system focus on these issues and “emphasise” the need for high quality audits in the short and longer-term.
He said: “Local authority accounts are vital to transparency and accountability. As with the rest of the public sector and the private sector ensuring that useful information in accounts is accessible to users is becoming increasingly difficult, the statement of accounts is often described as long and complex.”