Help improve public services in Scotland as a Graduate Trainee

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By Mark Taylor, Assistant Director, Audit Scotland

This is a really exciting time to join us in the world of public audit. With less than a year until the UK formally leaves the EU and continuing pressures on public services, public audit really has never been more important. Continue reading Help improve public services in Scotland as a Graduate Trainee

Guest blog: The journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant

Learn more about life at Audit Scotland as a Graduate Trainee in this blog.graduate_sm_images

Applications for Audit Scotland’s Graduate Trainee Scheme are now open.  Our four-year scheme provides training and development, with plenty of hands-on work experience and support as you complete your Chartered Accountant (CA) qualification with ICAS. So what’s the teaching element of the scheme like? What would you study and what exams would you take? We asked Graham Foster from ICAS to tell you a bit more… Continue reading Guest blog: The journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant

Performance audit – unique and unifying work from around the world

Fraser imageBy Fraser McKinlay, Director of Performance Audit and Best Value

In March, I was lucky enough to travel to Sydney, Australia, to speak at the IMPACT 2018 conference.  It’s a biannual gathering of performance auditors, organised by the Australasian Council of Auditors General (ACAG), and this year hosted by the Auditor General of New South Wales.

It was a fantastic opportunity to share with colleagues my experiences of auditing in an increasingly devolved Scotland, and learn from the best approaches to performance auditing around the world. Continue reading Performance audit – unique and unifying work from around the world

Calling all school leavers

School-Leaver_blog_bannerLauryn Graham joined Audit Scotland in October 2017 as a trainee. But unlike our other trainees Lauryn hadn’t been to university. Instead she came to us straight from high school and became the first person in Audit Scotland to be hired as part of a new initiative offering a training position to a school leaver. It’s a unique opportunity to contribute to our work, gain full sponsorship to become a qualified Chartered Accountant with ICAS, and get paid. This year we’re seeking two new school leavers to join us at Audit Scotland. So, almost a year into the five-year role what has Lauryn’s experience been like so far?
Continue reading Calling all school leavers

Why 2018 matters: social security and the Scottish Government

by Caroline Gardner

Caroline_twitter_400pxA new phase in Scotland’s devolved powers began with last week’s passing of the Social Security Bill.

Major new responsibilities for delivering benefits worth around £3 billion a year now sit with the Scottish Government. Unsurprisingly, the stakes are high.

The Government is committed to delivering the first wave of devolved benefits by summer 2019, including the carer’s allowance supplement, the Best Start grant, and assistance with funeral expenses. Continue reading Why 2018 matters: social security and the Scottish Government

Reporting on social security – behind the scenes

Caroline_twitter_400pxBy Caroline Gardner, Auditor General for Scotland

Around 1.4m of the most vulnerable people in Scotland will be affected by Parliament’s major new social security powers – the main focus of my recent report on the implementation of the Scotland Acts.

A huge amount of work is facing the Scottish Government as they prepare to take responsibility for benefits to carers and disabled people, some ill-health related benefits, parts of the Social Fund, and discretionary housing payments. Continue reading Reporting on social security – behind the scenes

Business Support – be at the heart of Audit Scotland

Officed picAs Audit Scotland seeks a new Business Support Manager we asked Lynn Scott, who has been in the role for the last five years, to give us a bit more insight into life at Audit Scotland.

In the five years I’ve been doing this job, no two days have ever been the same. What’s great about the job is the incredible diversity. It’s based within the Corporate Service Management team but working with all business groups in Audit Scotland. It’s definitely a great way to get to know colleagues from across the organisation and get involved in their work. Continue reading Business Support – be at the heart of Audit Scotland

The road not taken – yet

Caroline_twitter_400pxAuditor General Caroline Gardner on Scotland’s new financial powers and the opportunities and pitfalls that lie ahead.

The Scottish Budget Bill passed its Stage 1 hurdle last week, with support from the Greens and two Lib Dem MSPs. There’s been lots of coverage of the deal that’s been reached – extra cash for councils, low-carbon capital investment and lower-paid public sector workers, plus backing for ferry services in the northern isles – amounting to £170 million. There’s no doubt that it’s an important milestone for the Government, but in some ways the debate has missed the bigger questions. Continue reading The road not taken – yet

Community engagement – auditing impact

Claire Sweeney picBy Claire Sweeney, Associate Director at Audit Scotland

Over the last few months we’ve been learning more about community engagement.  It’s a fascinating issue that’s never been more important in Scotland and it’s an increasingly important part of our audit work.  But to audit community engagement fully we need to both understand it and develop ways of assessing where it’s working well. That’s easier said than done.  Lorraine Gillies, who is with us on secondment from West Lothian Council, has been helping us with this. Continue reading Community engagement – auditing impact

‘Validating the feels’

Lorraine GilliesBy Lorraine Gillies, Senior Manager, Audit Scotland

It can be a challenge to convince some funders, academics, policy makers, health bodies, inspectors, auditors and assessors that the creative and relational are just as important as quantitative measures in health, wellbeing and social justice. Where is the evidence that although all the processes are in place and the boxes are ticked that someone still feels that they aren’t getting the help they need, for example? Continue reading ‘Validating the feels’