New code shapes the future of public audit in Scotland

08 June 2021
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The Code of Audit Practice shapes and defines the independent audit of public bodies in Scotland. It supports democratic scrutiny of how public money is spent and what impact spending this money has had on public services, communities and improving individual lives.


The Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission have published a new Code of Audit Practice.

The updated Code:

  • provides a clear framework for effective public audit
  • reinforces public audit’s focus on wider areas than just financial reporting, such as financial sustainability, clarity of vision, leadership, governance and continuous improvement. This is a significant difference between public audit and the corporate sector
  • emphasises the close working relationship of the Auditor General for Scotland, the Accounts Commission and Audit Scotland, to get the most impact from looking across the entire public sector in Scotland, including central and local government, health and further education.
  • ensures that public audit can continue to respond promptly and effectively to an increasingly changing environment, social and environmental challenges, and legislative and professional reform.

Stephen Boyle, Auditor General for Scotland said:

"This updated Code of Audit Practice reinforces the independence, objectivity and quality of public audit. This is more important than ever before as we deliver our audit work during a period of significant change, shift and recovery."

Elma Murray, Interim Chair of the Accounts Commission said:

"It is vital that public audit continues to be a credible source of assurance and independent insight to decision makers, to those holding public bodies to account and, most importantly, to the public. This is a fundamental principle of our work and purpose."