Municipal Audit Fee Guide
Res #: 17-23M
Responses Received: Yes
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
WHEREAS under The Municipalities Act each municipality is required to have and submit a copy of the audited financial statement and auditors report to Government Relations.
WHEREAS municipal audits have become a large budgetary item.
WHEREAS there are currently no guidelines or restrictions within the province for the cost of municipal audits.
BE IT RESOLVED that SARM lobby the provincial government to implement a fee guide, based on a specific criterion, to be used by all auditors when charging municipal audits.
Responses From: Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations
December 7, 2023
- The Ministry of Government Relations (ministry) has no authority to legislate, regulate or advise on the fees an auditor may charge for the municipal audit. The cost for municipal audits may vary due to many factors, as the audit is very specific to the needs and size of the municipality.
- The ministry is aware that in some cases, auditors spend a significant amount of time reviewing municipal financial documentation resulting in additional amount of service hours, increasing the overall auditor costs for municipalities. The longer service hours usually occur because of paper-based municipal records that auditors need to review or the need to work on tasks such as bank reconciliation or ledger accounts reconciliation.
- In the letters to council, auditors often state that they needed to prepare a significant number of adjusting entries to correct transactions recorded by a municipality. The ministry encourages municipalities to utilize its Municipal Accounting Manual for guidance in the preparation of the financial statements, and the Municipal Auditing Guidelines to better prepare for their audits. Both resources are available on saskatchewan.ca.
- The Accounting Profession Act gives the profession the autonomy to regulate many aspects of its operations, including the delegation of authority, to set professional standards. Currently, the ministry is not aware of auditor’s fees to be regulated in other jurisdictions across Canada.
- The municipal associations, including the administrator associations, may be in the best position to canvass or survey municipalities as to the amounts they pay or are charged for audits and then develop a guide or best practices that could be used by councils in selecting and appointing an auditor.
- Municipalities are encouraged to collaborate and work together to jointly or collectively procure and tender for audit services to obtain economies of scale.
The Honourable Don McMorris – Minister of Government Relations, Saskatchewan Ministry of Government Relations