People Innovation Excellence

Financial Control: Auditor’s Report

When the audit is almost complete, the auditor will list issues that have not been fully resolved during the audit. The auditor will ask management to clarify these issues. If issues cannot be clarified, the auditor will mention them in the audit report.

At the end of the audit, the auditor usually draws up a set of draft annual accounts based on the information reviewed (see the section on Preparing for the Audit). S/he will include a record of income and expenditure actually received and spent, possibly with adjustments for creditors, debtors, accruals, pre-payments and depreciation of equipment or vehicles. There may also be a draft balance sheet showing the financial position of the organisation on the last day of the financial year.

The auditor will include a statement saying that the accounts have been drawn up in accordance with certain standards, based on information provided by the organisation.

The statement usually says that, in the auditor’s opinion, the accounts are an accurate and honest statement of the organisation’s financial dealings and situation for the financial year.

A good auditor will recommend ways to improve the organisation’s financial systems and procedures. The auditor’s advice should always be taken seriously. This advice is usually given in a management letter. This is a very useful document that should be reviewed, along with the accounts, by the Board. It can even be shared with donors. The idea is to improve the financial control and Accountability Practices of your organisation. The CEO should report regularly to the Board on how the recommendations of the auditor are being followed up.

The accounts should be checked by the CEO and then submitted to the Board for approval and signing. When the accounts are signed by Board representatives, they are no longer draft accounts and become final accounts. The accounts should not be signed unless people understand them.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international alliance established in 1993 to nurture the foundation, growth and protection of citizen action throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS envisions a worldwide community of informed, inspired, committed citizens in confronting the challenges facing humanity.

These CIVICUS Tool kits have been produced to assist civil society organisations build their capacity and achieve their goals. The topics range from budgeting,strategic planning and dealing with the media, to developing a financial strategy and writing an effective funding proposal. All are available on-line, in MS-Word and PDF format at and on CD-ROM.

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