Supporting you to manage risks and improve operations through independent and objective assurance

Why is internal audit important?

The challenges facing public sector organisations have never been greater. Demand for services is increasing but resources are limited.

Risks must be carefully balanced while still maximising performance and delivering required outcomes.

Are your services, systems and governance frameworks performing as they should be? Is your management of risks working effectively? Are you looking for advice and support to deliver improvements?

What we do

Working with you as trusted advisors, our internal auditors assess risks, review controls and identify areas for improvement. Our team has extensive experience working with a wide range of public sector organisations.

By taking an independent view of your key business processes, risks and objectives, we provide insights that add real value. Instead of focusing on past events, we look forward and provide ongoing practical support.

Our aim is to assist you in optimising resources and achieving the best outcomes for your stakeholders.

We ask the right questions, take time to understand your operations and priorities, and support you to make improvements where needed.

Case study

Audit review for council’s health and school nursing service to assist CQC inspection

Ahead of their next Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection, the council’s health visitors and school nursing service asked our auditors to undertake a piece of ‘critical friend’ work.

Read this case study

Experts in public sector

Veritau is owned by a group of local authorities. We’re very much part of the public sector and operate as an ‘arms-length’ group.

This means we provide independent and objective assurance while understanding the public sector ethos and your operating context.

We work with:

With over 600 public sector clients across our service areas, we can share key observations on best practice. As our client, you also benefit from our wide range of assurance expertise.

Professionally qualified staff

Our auditors are all professionally qualified or undertaking training. They come from different backgrounds and bring a wide range of experience to the role. Knowledgeable, understanding and helpful are terms our clients often use to describe them.

We know that an audit can run the risk of disrupting day-to-day activities, so we take care and time to plan our work around your needs.

Many of our staff have worked across the public sector before joining us, so they understand the challenges you face.

Phil Jeffrey - Assistant Director – Audit Assurance

Phil Jeffrey

Assistant Director – Audit Assurance

Phil has wide-ranging audit experience gained with Veritau, the Audit Commission, National Audit Office and in the NHS. He has performed a variety of audit assurance work, ranging from fundamental system reviews through to one off specialist assignments. Phil is our audit lead for Middlesbrough Council and Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council.

Stuart Cutts - Assistant Director – Audit Assurance

Stuart Cutts

Assistant Director – Audit Assurance

Stuart is a CIPFA qualified accountant with over 25 years of public sector audit experience with Veritau, the Audit Commission and KPMG. He has worked closely with many different organisations to deliver audit services. Stuart is our audit manager for North Yorkshire Council.

Ed Martin - Audit Manager

Ed Lambert-Martin

Audit Manager

Ed started with Veritau as a trainee auditor back when we were formed in 2009. He is now a Chartered Internal Auditor. Ed has delivered a wide variety of assurance work and has knowledge and experience across all areas of local government. Ed manages Veritau's IT audit and data analytics teams.

Connor Munro - Assistant Director – Audit Assurance

Connor Munro

Assistant Director – Audit Assurance

Connor is a Chartered Internal Auditor with experience of internal audit both in the public and private sectors, delivering complex and varied work. He is the audit manager for City of York Council and Birmingham Children’s Trust. Connor also leads on our risk management services.

Senior Internal Auditor - Michael Raynes

Michael Raynes

Senior Internal Auditor

Michael has over 20 years’ experience in internal audit and previously worked in finance at City of York Council. He has gained a wide experience of undertaking assurance work across local government. As a member of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants, Michael has a specialised knowledge of financial accounting and budgeting.

Gail Stormont, Senior Internal Auditor (Principal)

Gail Stormont

Senior Internal Auditor (Principal)

Gail has over 25 years of experience in both the private and public sectors, and has conducted varied and complex assurance reviews across different disciplines. She holds the PRINCE2 qualification in project management and the Institute of Risk Management's Certificate in Risk Management.

Andrew Ingram, Senior Internal Auditor

Andrew Ingram

Senior Internal Auditor

Andrew has nearly 20 years’ internal audit experience gained within local government. He has performed a wide variety of audit assurance work, ranging from main financial system reviews through to specialist assignments across different service areas. He holds the AAT qualification and a Certificate in Supervisory Management Studies.

Katie Barnard

Katie Barnard

Internal Audit Manager

Katie is an experienced senior auditor who holds the Institute of Risk Management Certificate, and is AAT qualified. She has helped improve and modernise the risk management frameworks for a number of clients. She has also worked with various organisations delivering a wide range of audit assurance work including one off specialist projects.

Amy Stroud - Senior Internal Auditor

Amy Stroud

Internal Audit Manager

Amy joined Veritau in 2017 as a trainee on the graduate programme. Amy holds the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) qualification. Amy now manages the delivery of internal audit services to our council’s schools and to over 20 academy trusts of all sizes and structures.

Neil Beasley, Senior Internal Auditor

Neil Beasley

Senior Internal Auditor

Neil is a Certified Internal Auditor with more than 15 years’ experience in internal audit. He has delivered a variety of assurance reviews across a range of service areas, including main financial systems and school audits. Neil is also a member of Veritau’s risk management group and holds the IRM's Certificate in Enterprise Risk Management.

Thomas Absalom - Senior Internal Auditor

Thomas Absalom

Senior Internal Auditor

Thom has worked for Veritau for over six years, having started as a trainee. He holds the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Certified Internal Auditor certification. He has conducted audits and assurance work across a range of areas, including main financial systems, social care, IT and health and safety. Thom is also the data analytics lead for internal audit.

Katie Llewhellin - Senior Internal Auditor

Katie Llewhellin

Senior Internal Auditor

Katie has been with Veritau for eight years, having started through our trainee programme. She is now a senior auditor and holds the Certified Internal Auditor qualification. Katie has worked on a wide range of audits, and works closely with a variety of clients including North Yorkshire Council, national parks and schools.

Luke Johnson - Senior Internal Auditor

Luke Johnson

Senior Internal Auditor

Luke joined Veritau as a trainee auditor in 2015. He holds the Institute of Internal Auditors Certified Internal Auditor accreditation and ISACA’s Certified Information System Auditor accreditation. Luke delivers on a variety of audits for numerous different clients, with special expertise in IT audits and cyber security.

Charlotte Jobling - Senior Internal Auditor

Charlotte Jobling

Senior Internal Auditor

Charlotte joined Veritau as a trainee on our graduate programme in 2019 and is now a Senior Internal Auditor. She holds the Certified Internal Auditor qualification and works on a variety of audit areas, including schools, adult social care and cyber security.

Cathy McDonnell - Senior Internal Auditor

Cathy McDonnell

Senior Internal Auditor

Cathy joined Veritau as a trainee auditor in 2018 and holds the Certified Internal Auditor qualification. She has particular focus on information governance, cybersecurity and project management audits, and is a member of Veritau's data analytics group.

Gillian Hoyes

Senior Internal Auditor

Gill has 20 years of experience working in local government including 10 years of experience in internal audit. She holds the Chartered Public Finance and Accountancy qualification (CIPFA) and has broad knowledge of finance and the public sector and, has a wide range of experience delivering assurance work across a range of service areas.

What might our service involve?

Our approach is forward-thinking and collaborative. We don’t provide an ‘off-the-shelf’ internal audit service. We carefully listen to your requirements and tailor our service to your specific needs.

Each client is different, and every audit plan is different. Areas we might support you on include:

  • Financial system reviews
  • Project and programme management
  • Value for money
  • Performance management
  • Operational system reviews
  • Data quality
  • Grant certification
  • IT risk assurance
  • System design and implementation
  • Human resource management
  • Policy development and implementation
  • Training and advice

Audits are both focused and structured. This ensures we address all the key areas while minimising the time needed to complete the work.

We communicate with you throughout the process so there are no surprises when you receive the report. And we like to highlight areas of strength rather than focusing solely on the negatives.

Frequently asked questions

How is an internal audit different from an external audit?

While there are similarities in the nature and conduct of work, there are important differences between internal and external audit.

Internal auditors assess the effectiveness of controls and the management of risks and report to management. In a local authority or school, this will typically be the senior leadership team, chief finance officer and audit committee. Internal auditors in the public sector work to the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards. In most cases, this will be supplemented by a local Audit Charter which will set out the specific objectives, roles and responsibilities of internal audit.

Each year the Head of Internal Audit will provide an overall opinion on the framework of governance, control and risk management. Internal auditors will also fulfil an advisory role providing support to organisations to help improve processes and controls.

External auditors are appointed to provide an opinion on whether the organisation’s financial statements provide a true and fair view. In the public sector, external auditors have specific additional powers and responsibilities. For local authorities, these include powers to consider objections to the accounts and issue public interest reports, and the responsibility to report on value for money.

Local authority external auditors are generally appointed by Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited. Both local authority and NHS external auditors work to the Code of Audit Practice issued by the National Audit Office. The code defines the scope of audit work and ensures that the appointed auditors fulfil their statutory responsibilities under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

Do internal auditors work with fraud investigators?

Internal auditors provide independent and objective assurance. However, they will usually work collaboratively with other assurance providers and related functions to add value and improve governance. Internal auditors will often work alongside fraud investigators using their analytical skills to review processes, data and information.

Where fraud is identified, internal auditors can also make recommendations to improve controls.

How does internal audit relate to risk management?

One of the key objectives for internal auditors is to assess the effectiveness of risk management processes and to support organisations to improve the management of risk. Internal auditors should therefore have a good understanding of the risk management arrangements in place and work alongside the organisation’s risk management officers to provide assurance that those arrangements are working as intended.

Our standards

Internal audit is a profession that works to high standards. Our auditors hold qualifications from the Institute of Internal Auditors, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and other professional bodies.

We also invest in specialist training for our staff, providing expertise across the board in areas such as IT audit and data analytics.

Offsite resource

Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS)

The PSIAS encompass the mandatory elements of the Institute of Internal Auditors International Professional Practices Framework.

Website: gov.uk

View this resource
Contact us

Our team is on hand to answer any of your questions and have an informal discussion about your requirements. We work with organisations across the public sector and can tailor our internal audit service to suit you.