Complaints Policy & Procedure



The SAAA Board is responsible for approving a complaints policy and procedure. The Chief Executive  reports annually to the Board about the nature and number of complaints and the responses. 

Complaints about auditors 

SAAA is responsible for monitoring the performance of the audit firms within its audit regime, however the audit firms remain responsible for the work and conduct of their staff. 

Audit firms are required to report any complaints to SAAA as part of the contract monitoring process. 

Each audit firm already has its own complaints process and complaints about auditors should be dealt with under those processes in the first instance.  

If SAAA receives a complaint that has not already been investigated by the relevant firm, it will be passed to the firm’s contact partner to deal with. 

The complaint should be progressed through all stages of the audit firm’s own complaints process, until either a satisfactory resolution is found, or it is clear that the firm will be unable to satisfactorily resolve matters. 

If the firm is unable to resolve matters, it should refer the complainant to SAAA. 

Complaints that SAAA can consider 

SAAA can consider complaints: 

  • that relate to a failure in service or maladministration by one of our firms of appointed auditors; or 
  • about how a concern or query has been dealt with by SAAA  

Service failure or failure to follow proper procedures by an appointed audit firm may include: 

  • failure to comply with standards; 
  • discourtesy or rudeness; 
  • discrimination; 
  • unreasonable delay; 
  • not responding to phone calls, emails or letters; 
  • not providing answers to reasonable questions; 
  • not answering complaints fully and promptly; or 
  • failure to recognise and rectify mistakes. 


Complaints that SAAA cannot consider 

As appointed auditors are statutorily independent SAAA cannot consider complaints about: 

  • the judgements and decisions of auditors; 
  • the process followed by auditors of smaller authorities who are exercising their specific powers in relation to electors’ objections to items in an authority’s accounts; nor 
  • the process by which those decisions are made. 

SAAA cannot: 

  • influence an appointed auditor’s professional skill and judgement in performing statutory functions; 
  • substitute its own judgements for those of an appointed auditor in the exercise of those functions; 
  • direct an appointed auditor to act or to review decisions; nor 
  • consider any complaint that relates to an ongoing audit investigation, until the investigation has been concluded. 

SAAA cannot consider complaints about individual smaller authorities – these must be raised with the body concerned. 

SAAA reserves the right not to investigate complaints that it considers to be frivolous, vexatious or without merit. 

 SAAA will not usually accept complaints that are made more than six months after the event in question. 

If you have any queries about whether SAAA can deal with a specific complaint, please contact us via email at 

Making a complaint 

If you wish to make a complaint, please e-mail SAAA at 

Alternatively you can write to SAAA at: 

Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd 

77 Mansell Street 


E1 8EA 


Complaints about auditors 

Complaints in respect of any of the audit suppliers appointed by SAAA will be handled in the first instance by the Chief Executive, liaising with the nominated contact partner at the audit firm if appropriate.