Article:

Public and Private Sector Audit and Assurance

13 December 2016

A number of parallel initiatives are driving an increasing focus on the development of effective audit regimes in both the public and private sector worldwide. These include:

  • the need to improve investor confidence in the wake of a number of international accounting scandals 
  • a greater awareness of the need for transparency and accountability in the Public Financial Management (PFM) cycle, including the receipt of revenues and the allocation and expenditure of public funds, and the role which a Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) should play in ensuring value-for-money
  • a trend by the international donor community to include Direct Budgetary Support into their aid portfolio – further emphasising the increasing role played by SAIs 
  • an increasing convergence in both the auditing and accounting spheres between international standards of public and private sector policy and practice. 

Our experience 

As one of the leading international audit and accountancy networks, BDO has been at the forefront of these developments. In the UK in particular, both the public audit bodies (the National Audit Office and the Audit Commission) routinely mandate private sector accounting practices to undertake audits of public sector organisations on their behalf. As a result, in recent years BDO has undertaken more than 50 such public sector audits (both external and internal) with an annual fee value in excess of £6.25 mill., under the auspices of these two organisations. 

One of the core themes of developmental consultancy is the sustainable implementation of sensitively modified international best practice into sectors and institutions in developing nations and emerging markets. Building on its leading-edge audit expertise in the UK, BDO's International Projects Group (IPG) has successfully transferred this body of knowledge and skills to clients around the world.