Housing Associations and RSLs
Housing Associations and other Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) represent the public sector alternative to local authority housing provision. They vary in size from massive nationwide organisations with a housing stock in the thousands to Tenant Management Organisations (TMOs) managing a single block of units.
Like the health service, Housing Associations make use of external audit providers but many of the larger ones retain an in-house department. Most smaller Housing Associations do not have an internal audit function, relying instead on advice and input from external auditors.
“Not for Profit” Organisations
While it is true that the public sector as a whole is not intended to produce profits, the phrase “not for profit” tends to be applied to charities. Given their size, diversity and reliance on large numbers of casual and volunteer staff, it could be argued that there is a great need for charities to have strong internal audit functions. Most of them have an element of fund raising, based on the collection of significant amounts of cash by volunteers, which is inherently difficult to control.
Few charities, apart form the larger household names, have the resources to fund effective internal audit departments so recruitment in this area is likely to remain only a tiny part of the overall internal audit market. Some of the largest and best known charities do have quite large, high profile internal audit departments that are well regarded in the internal audit industry.
Schools are not really users of audit staff, supported as they are by the local authority. However, universities and colleges of further and higher education are under increasing pressure to improve financial control and management. Inevitably, this has led to the need to strengthen and expand internal audit departments.
It is likely that the pressure to increase corporate governance in these institutions will lead to a phase of recruitment to new posts and expansion of small existing departments in the near future.
Internal Audit Recruitment in the Not For Profit Sector
Employment prospects in this part of the sector are likely to remain split between short-term ad hoc projects and a relatively small number of permanent appointments. However, turnover of internal audit staff in the “Not For Profit” sector is not high.