Councils are set to save millions after the launch of a new national body which has secured lower-cost contracts for auditing services.
Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd is expected to save more than £6m a year or 18% in the fees now paid by local authorities.
It has agreed six five-year deals with leading accounting firms to carry out the annual audits, starting this year, which will save councils the time and costs of procuring and managing auditors individually.
The move follows a lobbying campaign by the Local Government Association for changes to the legislation to allow public bodies to procure their external auditors through a sector-led body.
When this was agreed, the LGA set up PSAA as an independent company to carry out the auditing.
LGA chairman Lord Porter said: ‘It’s been a long journey, but I am extremely pleased that so many local authorities will reap such positive rewards – in terms of both quality and value for money.
‘Collectively, councils are set to save millions after they placed their confidence in the PSAA to commission audit services on their behalf.
‘This has been a longstanding project of the LGA and demonstrates the power of the sector-led model.’