Auditing in Public Authority


We analyze the differences with respect to the Audit in Private Law Companies


The function of Auditor in a local Authority is thorny and highly responsible: in fact the Accounting and Public Finance Rules change at the speed of light and new tasks and responsibilities continue to be attributed to the Auditor, even if the scenario of Local Authorities is profoundly modified by the current scenario caused by the SARS Covid 19 Pandemic and their accounts are increasingly suffering than in the past.

The Legal Audit Scenario in Public Bodies

The regulatory framework governing the Appointment of the Auditing Bodies of Local Authorities has been profoundly modified by art. 57-ter of the 2020 Tax Decree (D.L. 124/2019). This Reform established that the new Auditors are drawn by lot from a List established on a Provincial basis and not on a Regional basis as in the past: the audience of “potential” Auditors has been expanded, as Professionals who come into contact are now involved for the first time in the “public” context of Local Authorities with passion but also without the necessary experience.

The Differences with the Audit in Private Law Companies

The Statutory Audit in Public Bodies is different from that of Private Law Companies and not only for the various “Accounting Principles” followed: ie the “Cash Principle” of the former, compared to the “Competence Principle”.

In fact, for those who approach these new realities for the first time with a training of “private” matrix, the first feeling is that of total bewilderment, as the Accounting System of Public Bodies responds to different and sometimes even incomprehensible logics with respect to those of companies or private law firms.

It is therefore essential for anyone wishing to approach the Review of Local Authorities to understand the peculiar mechanisms that govern them, even before starting to memorize the intricate rules that feed them.


The suggestion we would like to give is to deepen the subject gradually, accompanied by a good Public Accounting Manual (as not all the Texts highlight the basic checks to be done).

In fact, most of them are of a purely legal nature because the truth is that we are dealing with a real “legislation” and not a simple “body of technical rules”, that is, those that characterize Private Accounting which, although ‘it is no less articulated in terms of legal regulations and accounting principles, but it is certainly more familiar to those who practice the activity of Chartered Accountant, as a habitual profession.