How we allocate audits

The Auditor-General appoints auditors to carry out annual audits of public organisations, including schools.

These auditors come from a pool of audit service providers – which includes Audit New Zealand, the four major chartered accountancy firms, and a range of medium-sized and smaller audit firms.

The Auditor-General can use a tender process to pick the auditor, if that's the best approach for a particular audit.

About audit fees

We monitor audit fees when the auditor is negotiating with the organisation they're going to audit, and help to resolve concerns about proposed audit fees. The fees need to be based on realistic hours (reflecting the nature and extent of work required), an appropriate audit team mix, and charge-out rates in line with market rates.

Our goal is for audit fees to be fair - this means that they are reasonable for the organisation being audited and provide a fair level of return to the auditors.

Audit New Zealand, a business unit of the Controller and Auditor-General, operates like a private sector professional services firm but is not a profit-seeking business. It is expected to break even. We use its audit fees as a benchmark for maintaining reasonable fees among all the audit service providers who work for the Auditor-General.

Each year, we get our systems for allocating audits and setting fees independently reviewed. The independent review is included in our annual report each year.

Page last updated: 12 April 2023