Help us address the sector’s auditor shortage issue

08 July 2022

As many housing associations have experienced in recent years, there is an auditor shortage in the social housing sector.

Many NHF members have reported that they haven’t received any submissions to the tenders for their external audit work, and we know of some housing associations that have asked the Regulator for Social Housing for an extension for submitting their returns.

It is likely that without intervention this issue will worsen over future years as the regulatory requirements on Public Interest Entities (PIEs) persist and possibly increase, and recruitment and specialisation issues create more personnel shortages for housing association auditors.

As a result of this, the NHF is engaging in a piece of work to bring more auditors to the sector. The work is ongoing and at an early stage. So far we have contacted several firms, most of which do not currently audit housing associations but have all expressed an initial interest in doing so – two of these firms also audits PIEs.

What can housing associations do?

To ensure the success of this work we need housing associations to open up their external audit procurement process. To do this we are asking members to do the following:

  1. Use our external audit tender template. This removes the common barriers to entry for auditors, such as asking for experience of auditing two or more similar type and sized organisations.
  2. Engage early with these firms, ideally months before the tender document is sent out.
  3. Send the template to all the auditors on our list of external auditors.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Who to speak to

John Butler, Policy Leader