Being an Audit Director at Audit Scotland


We currently have an exciting Audit Director vacancy. In this blog, Gordon Smail, an Audit Director at Audit Scotland, provides some insights into the role.

By Gordon Smail

The Audit Director role really gives me the chance to make a difference. This is both through the audit work that provides assurance to the people of Scotland about how public money is used, and in helping Audit Scotland and our staff develop at a time of significant change for public finances and public audit.

As in the private sector, Audit Directors who are engagement leads oversee financial audits which meet international auditing standards. And because public money is involved, we also report on wider aspects such as financial sustainability, governance and value for money.

This requires technical knowledge and experience, but also an understanding of the issues across the public sector and strong working relationships with leaders and other senior stakeholders. Our aim is to provide independent assurance which supports democratic scrutiny of how public money is raised and spent and the outcomes achieved. For me, my Audit Director colleagues and our teams this work is both challenging and rewarding.

As an Audit Director, I lead and manage audit teams, have a close involvement at key stages of the audits and in the judgements and conclusions we report. Audit Directors are also involved at senior levels in managing Audit Scotland and its business.

An important part of the role is our contribution to the wider work of Audit Scotland in supporting public accountability and improvement. This provides us with unique, privileged access and insight into the public sector and its finances which in turn supports our ability to add value through our audits.

As with all organisations, we have been working hard to manage the impact of Covid-19 on our staff and our work. We are taking a pragmatic, flexible and consistent approach to audit under these conditions.

Audit Directors at Audit Scotland are working well together, building on our strong foundations to maintain the quality and integrity of public audit over this difficult period. I am confident based on our digital and technical support, our networks and approach, and the quality and professionalism of our staff that we are very well-placed to deal with the challenges ahead.

The work here is challenging and the Audit Director role has its pressures and ‘moments’, as you would expect in a senior role. But our culture is supportive and collegiate, with well-being at the centre of our organisational ethos. I work with fantastic colleagues who have a range of backgrounds and expertise, who are there to help, as we support improvement in the public services we all use daily.

If you would like to find out more information about the Audit Director vacancy, please click here. Applications close Monday 11 May, midnight.