The following Corporate practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Audit—fundamentals
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) and audit
  • Contents
  • What are the exemptions from audit?
  • Can the members of a company require the accounts to be audited?
  • Do half-yearly financial reports have to be audited?
  • Who regulates audit in the UK?
  • What is a statutory auditor?
  • How is an auditor appointed—private company?
  • How is an auditor appointed—public company?
  • More...


In the UK, the audit of accounts and reports is governed by the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006), Parts 16 and 42.

Under CA 2006, s 475, a company is required to have its annual accounts for a financial year audited in accordance with CA 2006, Pt 16, unless the company can take advantage of one of the exemptions available. The term ‘audit’ is not defined in the CA 2006. However, the function of a company’s auditor is to report on the annual accounts of a company (auditor’s report), copies of which must:

  1. in the case of a private company, be sent to every member of the company, every holder of the company's debentures and every person who is entitled to receive notice of general meetings during the auditor’s tenure of office, or

  2. in the case of a public company, be laid before the company in general meeting during the auditor’s tenure of office

See Practice Notes:

  1. The requirement to audit accounts

  2. Appointment of an auditor

  3. An auditor’s duties and rights

As regards the impact of Brexit on statutory audit in the UK see Practice Note: Brexit—statutory audit.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and audit

For information on the various emergency measures relating to financial reporting and audit implemented by the relevant regulatory authorities as a result of the coronavirus pandemic see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—impact on annual accounts and reports. For

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