It’s that time of year again which seems to come round ever so quickly. This is the first of a series of three blogs in which I will discuss what an independent compliance audit is, why you need to have one and how to prepare for it, what the cost of non-compliance means for housing providers and how we can help reduce the instances and therefore consequences of non-compliance.
What is a compliance audit?
The compliance audit programme provides assurance that developing organisations are meeting Homes England’s requirements and the conditions of their grant-funding agreements, and that schemes are being delivered in line with the responsibilities contained in the Capital Funding Guide. The assurance is provided via an independent auditor who reports through to the developing organisation and Homes England at the same time.
Not all developing organisations are subject to compliance audit each year, but Homes England will have notified you by now if you have been selected in 2022. The Greater London Authority works to a slightly later timeframe. The schemes that are selected are those that may have completed in a previous financial year or are still on site where early assurance is required.
What do I need to do to prepare for it?
The two-month window from notification to the long-stop date of 12th September 2022 for completion is actually quite tight if you want to take advantage of the four-week advance notice of the specific schemes to be audited and given that it falls predominantly in the summer holiday (for both your staff and the auditors!).
The first thing you need to do is to appoint your appropriately qualified independent auditor and agree the timeframe that you will work towards. You then need to access the Compliance Audit System in order to enter the Independent Auditor details and set an audit start date in the system. This will automatically generate an email to the Independent Auditor who must then access the system to self-certify that they are able to complete the audit.
Homes England have provided a training pack to assist you with this process in which they have stipulated the deadline date for setting up your compliance audit of 8th August 2022. This will help them support any providers who are struggling to access the system and ensure a timely start to the audit proper.
How can TIAA help?
At TIAA, we have over 26 years of undertaking internal audit in the social housing sector and over 15 years of delivering independent compliance audits. We understand development and the importance of meeting the audit requirements. We can guide you through the set-up and audit process, helping you to demonstrate your compliance.
Please Contact us to find out more.
The second and third blogs in this series are available below.