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Financial audits

Our work

The Auditor-General has a statutory duty to carry out an annual audit of the financial reports of about 4000 public entities. This work accounts for about 87% of our total budgeted expenditure and is non-discretionary.

Auditors give an independent opinion on a public entity’s financial statements and other information (such as service performance information) that public entities are required to have audited.

Auditors also add value by recommending improvements to a public entity’s internal controls.

What financial auditors do to carry out an audit

The audit team will carry out much of the annual audit on-site, to readily access the entity’s systems and information and talk to staff. This helps to ensure that we understand the information we’re looking at.

Our work generally includes:

  • determining whether significant financial and management controls are in place, are working, and can be relied on to produce complete and accurate data;
  • verifying samples of transactions and account balances;
  • performing analyses to identify anomalies in reported data;
  • reviewing significant estimates and judgements made by the entity’s governing body/senior management;
  • confirming year-end balances;
  • considering any conflicts of interest and transactions with related parties;
  • determining whether accounting policies are appropriate and consistently applied; and
  • determining whether all financial statement and service performance disclosures are adequate.

Our audit work can also include:

  • assessing appropriateness of the service performance framework, including the performance measures that will be reported externally;
  • reviewing and testing controls over performance reporting; and
  • verifying reported performance for important performance measures.

Page last updated: 24 June 2014

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Model Financial Statements

Model Financial Statements under the new PBE accounting standards are available on Audit New Zealand's website:

Crown entities (for Tier 1 and 2 entities)

Government departments (for Tier 1 and 2 entities)

Local authorities (for Tier 1 and 2 entities)

For Tier 3 entities