Focus areas in audit and monitoring, and reporting

The audit plan is a plan for the implementation of the strategy of the National Audit Office.

The NAOF’s operations aim at

  1. improved cost-effectiveness in the management of central government finances,

  2. improved trust in the knowledge base of decision-making,

  3. improved trust in open, cost-effective, and sustainable operations of the Finnish central government.

By means of its audit and monitoring activities, the NAOF provides Parliament, the decision-makers, and the senior public officials with significant, relevant, and timely information with emphasis on the significance of the matter for central government finances.

The audit plan is based on the most significant risks identified in the NAOF’s risk analysis. Our planning is steered by the focus areas defined for the planning period and the materiality criteria specific for the different audit types. Before incorporating a topic into the audit plan, we assess its auditability.

In the planning period, the focus areas in auditing are reforms and changes in public administration, and measures to promote sustainable public finances and balanced central government finances. Through our audits, we support the renewal of the central government and its key development measures. With the information we produce, we strive to promote the sustainable development of public administration proactively.

Our audits are centred around central government finances and the state’s financial management. The NAOF forms its overall view by annually auditing the final central government accounts and the Government’s annual report, and by monitoring fiscal policy. The overall view is supplemented by the findings and conclusions of other audits and reviews. The NAOF actively monitors and assesses changes in the operating environment as well as risks related to central government finances or the state’s financial management.

Reports to Parliament

The statutory reports submitted by the National Audit Office to Parliament include the following:

  1. the National Audit Office’s Annual Report to Parliament, as laid down in section 6 of the Act on the National Audit Office,

  2. separate reports submitted to Parliament when necessary, as laid down in section 6 of the Act on the National Audit Office, such as the separate report on the audit of the final central government accounts and the Government’s annual report for the previous year, and the fiscal policy monitoring report,

  3. reports on the oversight of election campaign funding in connection with elections, as laid down in section 10(3) of the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding,

  4. annual reports on the oversight of political party funding, as laid down in section 9e(5) of the Act on Political Parties.

The purpose of the reports to Parliament is to serve Parliament as well as possible in its duties laid down in the Constitution. The reporting implements the interaction between an external auditor and the supreme decision-making body, as laid down in the international audit standards. The reports to Parliament highlight the audit findings and conclusions that are the most relevant for parliamentary work in an easy-to-read and easy-to-use format. The reports are developed in cooperation with the decision-makers.

General principles for the development of quality management

The National Audit Office continues to carry out quality management according to its quality management model revamped in 2019–2020. The key findings and development needs related to quality management in each audit type are submitted to the National Audit Office’s management forums for discussion. Quality management is based on the audit manual. Quality management is reported on annually in the final accounts. As part of its quality management, the NAOF requests external experts, such as members of the Scientific Council, to assess the quality of selected audit reports. These external assessments are submitted to the NAOF’s management for information.