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Public sector auditing

Audit New Zealand works solely in the public sector, carrying out audits on behalf of the Auditor-General and providing specialist audit and assurance services to public entities.

A public sector audit involves auditing a public entity’s financial statements and other information (such as non-financial performance information) that the entity is required to have audited. There are different requirements for different types of public entities. Audits also look at compliance with statutory obligations, where those obligations have a material (big enough to matter) effect on the financial statements.

Part of an audit will also consider sensitive expenditure and similar risks specific to the public sector.

This type of scrutiny is important because public entities provide services for all New Zealanders. All our Appointed Auditors are required to meet the Auditor-General's auditing standards. The standards are based on the ethical and professional standards used by members of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, as well as additional standards unique to the public sector.

We audit more than half of the country’s public entities other than schools – about 800 public entities in total. Our annual audits provide the foundation for many of the Auditor-General’s reports to Parliament.

Our audit portfolio includes new, complex, and large audits, such as the Auckland Council, formed in 2010, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, formed in 2012. With such a wide client base, we are able to form insights about issues and across types of entities. We share our insights with public entities whenever we can to help improve public sector management and performance.

Page last updated: 2 November 2015

Improving the public sector

Audit New Zealand is actively helping public entities as they work to build better public services.

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We have a wide range of resources to help our clients and to explain what we do