Private companies - selecting an auditor

By Alice Telfer, Head of Business Policy and Public Sector, ICAS Policy Leadership

18 April 2018

The ICAS Business Policy Panel has produced a guide to audit tendering for directors of private companies.

This is the next in our series “selecting your auditor”– others include:

This guide to tendering the external auditor appointment for private companies explains why it is a good idea for a private company to tender its audit, the risks of not rotating auditors and good practice to help companies get the quality audit needed.

This guide offers a more proportionate approach to tendering for private companies. It shares good practice and tips from experienced members in both the private and listed sectors.

Good practice for a listed company can be too unwieldy for smaller private companies – we have distilled what we believe to be the key drivers and tailored this for the private company to make it more accessible.

- Paul Hally, Chair of ICAS Business Policy Panel

A quality audit can benefit the business and a good auditor brings professional scepticism and independent, professional judgement.

Tendering can help directors make sure that the company is getting what it should from its auditors.

Key themes explained include:

  • Why and when to tender
  • The benefits of a quality audit
  • What makes a good company-auditor working relationship
  • Auditor independence – what it means and how to get this right
  • The drivers for a quality audit, what to look for and key assessment criteria to help directors evaluate tenders
  • What to expect at each stage of the tender process with practical tips

We explain how auditors are regulated and provide useful links to relevant legislation and regulation.

The guide also contains a checklist summarising key questions for directors throughout the tender process.

Selecting your auditor - a guide to tendering the external auditor appointment for private companies

Download guide


  • Audit and Assurance
  • Private sector

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