Annual report 2016/17


  • 329 accounts audited
  • 20 national and local performance reports
  • 6.7% reduction in our average fees for 2016/17 audits
  • 6.5% reduction of our expenditure in budget proposal
  • £1 million efficiency savings in 2016/17
  • £13,000+ raised by our staff for good caused
  • Over 700,000 downloads - increase of 100,000
  • 66,233 visitors to our website - up from 52,554


Welcome and overview

Ian Leitch and Caroline Gardner

We've taken significant steps to improve the efficiency and relevance of our audits and ensure quality is maintained.

Ian Leitch CBE
Chair of the Audit Scotland Board

Read the Chair's welcome...

Set against current changes and uncertainties, our role as public spending watchdog has never been more vital.

Caroline Gardner
Accountable Officer

Read Accountable Officer's report...



  • 329 accounts audited:
  • 209 local government
  • 76 central government
  • 23 NHS
  • 21 further education

Audit quality and independence

Every five years we change the teams carrying out audits. For 2016/17, we appointed new teams and we also brought in a new Code of audit practice updating what we expect from auditors. Read more about audit quality in the annual report...



Tracking new financial powers

Scotland’s finances are now being transformed by the new financial powers for the Scottish Parliament, and this year we published a series of reports suggesting a more strategic approach to public financial management and reporting. Read more about financial powers in the annual report...



Other key aspects of our work


Accountability report



  • 271 people (whole-time equivalent):
  • Gender - 48% male 52% female
  • Board - 60% male 40% female
  • Senior management - 40% male 60% female
  • Sickness - absence per person 5.32 days
  • Staff turnover 11.11%
  • Trainee auditors 35

Engaging with others

It’s important that we are trusted by our stakeholders and build with them a programme of work that is relevant and has impact. This year we conducted a major revamp of our engagement activities. We held workshops with Young Scot and learned how we could better involve young people. We also:



improved links with Parliament,

Self-directed support

used social media surveys for self-directed support...


Financial statements


Financial statements

2016/17 revenue resources - £25.4 million


  • Operating income £18.6 million
  • Scottish Parliament £7.4 million
  • Net finance expenditure -£0.6 million


  • People costs £16.3 million
  • Other operating expenditure £4.1 million
  • Fees and expenses paid to external firms £5.0 million


Reports 2016/17