Who Audits the Auditor?
The Lieutenant Governor in Council appoints an auditor to audit our Office. The auditor must be an accountant who is a member in good standing of a recognized accounting profession that is regulated by an Act. The auditor cannot be employed by a Government ministry, Crown agency, Crown-controlled corporation, or by the Office of the Provincial Auditor.
Annually, the auditor reports to the Legislative Assembly whether, in his/her opinion:
- Our financial statements are reliable
- We have adequate management systems and practices
- We have complied with laws that govern our Office
- Our reported costs of auditing government organizations are reliable
- Our reported actual time employees spend on tasks are reliable
- The assumptions underlying our request for resources (annual budget) are suitably supported and consistent with our goals, objectives, strategies, and action plans, and that the assumptions provide a reasonable basis for our request
Also, our work and audit reports are subject to a wide range of external assessments and challenges. For example:
- Annually, our Office publishes a Business and Financial Plan. We answer questions posed in public meetings by members of the Standing Committees on Public Accounts and on House Services.
- We discuss our audit work plans with each government organization.
- We meet with government officials to discuss the contents of our reports when those reports are still in draft form as well as after the reports have been issued.
- We provide reports to the Minister responsible for each government organization on the results of each of our examinations.
- We summarize the results of our work in various reports to the Legislative Assembly:
- Provincial Auditor’s Report (Volume 1) – includes our work related to government organizations with December 31 year-ends.
- Provincial Auditor’s Report (Volume 2) – includes our work related to government organizations with March 31 year-ends.
- Other reports – we also prepare special reports as required.
- Our reports contain our conclusions, recommendations, and findings. These reports are referred to the Standing Committees on Public Accounts and Crown & Central Agencies for review and discussion. In public meetings, we answer questions posed by these Committees and by government officials about the contents of our reports.
- Our work methods are examined through internal and external quality control reviews. In order to ensure the quality of our assurances and advice, we use standard methods for carrying out our work and change the methods to reflect best practice. In addition, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Saskatchewan periodically inspects our Office to ensure that we comply with professional standards.
- We publish an Annual Report on Operations for our Office. This report includes assurances from our external auditor and our external practice inspector.