Our work

Audit Scotland work

To find out what work we are planning to do over the next five years, see our work programme.

We report in a range of ways on the performance and finances of Scotland’s public bodies, and we use different methods to communicate our work and engage with our stakeholders. These are listed below.

Outputs from the annual audit

We audit over 200 public bodies and we publish various outputs from the annual audit process, including:

Annual audits
  • The independent auditor’s report is issued on each set of accounts prepared by the audited body, to comply with statutory requirements and in accordance with International Standards on Auditing. These reports set out auditors’ opinions on the accounts, including whether the financial statements give a true and fair view, and that income and expenditure is lawful
  • The annual audit report sets out the conclusions of the audit to the public body concerned, and to the Controller of Audit or the Auditor General. In line with our Code of Audit Practice, these reports also cover: financial management, financial sustainability, governance and transparency, and Best Value and value for money.

View our annual audit outputs

Overview reports

Overview reports

These reports assess the overall performance of key parts of the public sector, such as the NHS, local government and colleges.

They draw together key findings from all annual audit work in the relevant sector to summarise key opportunities and challenges. These reports are produced by either the Accounts Commission or the Auditor General.

View our overview reports

Performance audits

Performance audit reports

These are national reports that focus on efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public resources.

They can consider issues such as: implementation of public service reforms; value for money; use of resources, and; service performance and sustainability. These reports are produced by either the Accounts Commission or the Auditor General, or jointly.

View our performance audit reports

Best Value reports

Best Value audit reports

These reports are produced by the Accounts Commission and consider how well councils are meeting the duty of Best Value placed on them under the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003.

This means the continuous improvement of the authority’s functions and how well it is maintaining a balance between the quality of its performance and how much this costs to deliver.

Find out more about Best Value reports

Statutory reports

Statutory reports

These reports highlight significant issues found during the audit of a public body’s accounts.

In central government and health, Section 22 reports are presented to the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee by the Auditor General. In local government Section 102 reports are presented to the Accounts Commission by the Controller of Audit.

View our statutory reports

Impact reports

Impact reports

These summarise the impact of a performance audit.

They are published around 18 months after the audit report, and cover the response to the report, and how conclusions and recommendations were acted upon by audited bodies and others, such as the Parliament. These reports are produced by either the Accounts Commission or the Auditor General.

View our impact reports

How councils work reports

How councils work

This is a series of publications produced by the Accounts Commission and designed to support improvement in local government.

Find out more about how councils work reports

Housing benefit audit

Housing benefit performance audit reports

These reports help councils to improve their benefit services, and also help to hold councils to account for any poorly performing or failing services. They are produced by the Accounts Commission.

Find out more about housing benefit audit

National Fraud Initiative

The National Fraud Initiative in Scotland

This is a counter-fraud exercise led by Audit Scotland on behalf of the Accounts Commission, and overseen by the UK Cabinet Office for the UK as a whole.

It uses computerised techniques to compare information about individuals held by different public bodies across the UK, to detect fraud or error. The initiative reports its findings biennially.

Find out more about the National Fraud Initiative

Council performance reporting

Council performance reporting

The Accounts Commission has a statutory power to define what performance information councils must publish.

Find out more about council performance reporting

Other outputs and engagement

We also use a range of methods to communicate our audit work and practices, to engage our stakeholders and ensure our work is accessible and valuable to the people who use and provide public services in Scotland.

 

evidence to parliamentary committee

Evidence to wide range of parliamentary committees

Written parliamentary submissions

Written parliamentary submissions

Accounts Commission meetings with councils to discuss report findings

Accounts Commission meetings with councils to discuss report findings

Briefings to boards and audit committees of public bodies

Briefings to boards and audit committees of public bodies

Project scope flyers

Project scope flyers

Conferences, presentations, roundtable events - UK, international

Conferences, presentations, roundtable events - UK, international

 

Tableau

Tableau

Briefing papers

Briefing papers

Correspondence

Correspondence

Media briefings

Media briefings

Online and social media

Online and social media

International visitors

International visitors