Focus areas of audit and monitoring, and reporting

Audit plan deals with the focus areas of audit and development work, the tasks and goals of audit work, as well as audit topics.

The audit plan is a plan on the implementation of the strategy of the National Audit Office. The NAOF’s operations aim at

  1. improved cost-effectiveness of 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 work, the NAOF provides Parliament, the decision-makers, and the senior public officials with significant, relevant and timely information where the significance of the matter for central government finances is highlighted.

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 of the planning period and the audit-type-specific materiality criteria. Before including a topic in the audit plan, we assess its auditability.

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

Our audits are centred around central government finances and 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

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 whenever necessary, as laid down in section 6 of the Act on the National Audit Office

  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 the Supreme Audit Institution and the supreme decision-making body, as laid down in international audit standards. The Parliament reports include the audit observations and conclusions that are 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 revamped quality management model of the National Audit Office is being established as part of daily activities. The key observations and development needs related to quality management in each audit type will be submitted to the NAOF’s management forums for discussion. Quality management is based on the audit manual. Quality management is reported on annually in the financial report. As part of its quality management, the National Audit Office 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.