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External audit market issues


By Ria Logan

Auditors on CPC’s Audit Services framework have been struggling to recruit for senior positions since Covid-19. Due to the lack of bums on seats, the number of audits that each provider can complete is limited. This issue is across the board within the market and is not a problem with the framework. 

As the whole of the education sector need their audits complete at the same time of year (September – November), the auditors unfortunately cannot audit all of our members and have a limited amount of audits they are available to carry out due to capacity issues.  

With this in mind, we would like to put forward some recommendations to think about prior to procuring an external audit service: 

  • Use the warm-up letter which can be found in the user guide prior to completing a further competition. This will help both members and suppliers as you will be aware of how many bids you are expecting to receive as well as suppliers being aware of opportunities coming up 
  • Covid-19 has proved that many businesses can run remotely. If you advise in your warm-up letter that you accept the audit to be completed remotely, you may get more interest. Although there are capacity issues, the auditors may have someone in a different office across the country who has capacity to complete the audit   
  • Extend with current providers if possible 
  • Complete your mini competition earlier. The most popular time for mini competitions on the audit services framework is December – March. After this period, the suppliers have already planned their year and you will not receive a bid. The earlier you tender, the more bid responses you will receive  
  • Give suppliers no less than 4 weeks to respond to a mini competition 
  • Make sure you change the mini competition template to meet your own bespoke requirements.  


We hope that this article has been informative and will help with your process going forward. Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Contract Manager Ria Logan at [email protected] or 0161 974 0955. 

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