Check to see if your accounts need to be audited.
We provide guidance on accounting and audit requirements for co-operative societies and community benefit societies. You can also use our decision tool below to help you understand whether you are required to appoint a qualified auditor. You can of course choose to appoint a qualified auditor even if you not required to do so.
Types of society
Societies qualifying as ‘small societies’ can appoint 2 or more ‘lay auditors’ (people who are not qualified auditors).
Other societies are required to appoint a qualified auditor unless members vote each year to disapply this requirement. However, not every society is eligible to invite members to vote to disapply the audit requirement.
The audit requirements depend on criteria including the number of members you have, your turnover, and your assets. So whether you need to appoint a qualified auditor may change from one year to the next.
Whether you have, or are, a subsidiary affects the audit requirements. You can read more about the impact of subsidiaries.
Types of audit
Societies may be able to do one of the following:
- appoint 2 ‘lay auditors’
- no audit
- appoint a qualified auditor to produce a ‘report on the accounts’
- appoint a qualified auditor to audit the accounts and balance sheet
Audit decision tool
This tool is to help co-operative societies and community benefit societies understand whether they may need to appoint a qualified auditor. The tool navigates through the requirements of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, reflected in our guidance.
Some societies may be under other legislative requirements that affect whether they need to appoint an auditor. Examples include the requirements for housing associations or financial service firms. This tool does not cover requirements outside of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
If you are in any doubt on the requirements that apply to you, seek advice.
Answer the questions below to help you understand which requirements apply.
Finding a qualified auditor
We provide more information on finding a qualified auditor.