Audit Fees

The following fees have been determined by SAAA following consultation for the Audit
Years 2022-23 to 2026-27.

Scales of Audit Fees

Scales of fees for smaller authorities are based on bands of annual income or expenditure, whichever is the higher. This means that the fees are broadly proportionate to the public funds involved and the ability of each authority to pay.

Table 1 sets out the scales of audit fees for smaller authorities that complete their Annual Returns fully and accurately within the required timescales, and provide the necessary supporting information and any explanations sought.

Note that an authority with neither income nor expenditure exceeding £25,000 that is not able to certify that it is an exempt authority as it does not meet the qualifying criteria, or if the authority wishes to have a limited assurance review by the external auditor, then the fee payable will be £210.

Authorities with neither income nor expenditure exceeding £200,000 will be subject to basic limited assurance audit review. Authorities with either income or expenditure exceeding £200,000 will be subject to intermediate limited assurance audit review.

Scale of fees may be subject to review during the period.

Income/Expenditure Band (£)
Fee for Limited Assurance Review (£)
0 - 25,000
0 (if a Certificate of Exemption is submitted)
0 - 25,000
210 (if a LAR review is required)
25,001 - 50,000
50,001 - 100,000
100,001 - 200,000
200,001 - 300,000
300,001 - 400,000
400,001 - 500,000
500,001 - 750,000
750,001 - 1,000,000
1,000,001 - 2,000,000
2,000,001 - 3,000,000
3,000,001 - 4,000,000
4,000,001 - 5,000,000
5,000,001 - 6,500,000

Reminder letters

Where the Annual Governance and Accountability Return is not submitted by the authority to the external auditor by the required date, a reminder will be sent. Where the auditor is required to send a reminder to any authority, the auditor will charge the authority £40 for each reminder.

Additional work and variations to the scale fees

If an active authority fails either to submit its Annual Return to the supplier for review by 15 September or (if it is an exempt authority) to provide a certificate of exemption, the auditor will consider making a statutory recommendation and/or issuing a public interest report, the cost of which will be payable by the authority pertaining to the fee income band of that authority as in Table 1 (above).
Extra fees may also be charged, subject to SAAA approval, in other circumstances, for example where auditors have to:

  • consider objections to the accounts from local electors, from the point at which the auditor accepts the objection as valid;
  • exercise special powers in relation to the review, such as issuing a report in the public interest; or
  • undertake any special investigations, such as those arising from disclosures under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

Table 2 – Maximum hourly rates for additional work at smaller authorities
Extra fees will be calculated and charged according to the work required, subject to the maximum hourly rates set out in Table 2 below.

Staff Grade
Maximum £ Per Hour
Engagement Lead
Senior Manager / Manager
Senior Auditor
Other Staff

Value Added Tax

The fee scales exclude Value Added Tax which will be charged at the prevailing rate on all work undertaken.


Examples of key dates, fees and consequences of non-response or late response submitting an Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR).

Non-payment of auditor invoices

Where an authority fails to pay the external auditor the fees due and invoiced as per the above Scales of Fees, the auditor will make all reasonable endeavours to collect the amount due. If the invoice remains unpaid the auditor will then refer the outstanding debt to SAAA, who as the ‘specified person’ will seek to recover the debt plus administration costs and if necessary take appropriate legal action.

This Scales of Fees 2022-23 to 2026-27 information is also downloadable as a PDF.

Scales of Fees 2017-18 to 2021-22

The scales of fees were determined by SAAA following consultation for the Audit Years 2017-18 to 2021-22, and will be superceded after the reviews undertaken at the conclusion of the 2021-22 audit year.