Choosing an audit firm

Public organisations don't always know that the Auditor-General appoints their auditors.

Public organisations don't choose who carries out their audit. The Auditor-General allocates most audits directly to auditors (sometimes called "appointed auditors").

Audits are allocated by the Auditor-General so they can be confident that:

  • the auditor is properly independent of the organisation they're auditing;
  • auditors can develop in-depth sector knowledge;
  • auditors have the skills and experience needed for the type of auditing required (for example, knowledge of profit-driven organisations); 
  • there can be joint initiatives and information-sharing between competing audit service providers;
  • compliance costs of allocating are kept low (because processes like running tenders are expensive for everyone involved); and
  • they have access to enough audit resources.

How often are auditor appointments reviewed?

Auditors are usually appointed for three years. The same auditor will often be reappointed for another three years subject to satisfactory performance. 

The auditors for most non-school public organisations must be replaced after six years to ensure the auditors’ independence. When appointing a replacement auditor, the Auditor-General will consider how effectively the criteria for audit appointments are being met, and will usually appoint an auditor from the same audit service provider.

Page last updated: 24 January 2023