Hello there! My name is Laura Wright and I’m an Assistant Auditor here at the National Audit Office (NAO) in Newcastle. Together with some of my colleagues, I’m going to be blogging about what it’s like to work at the NAO and the day-to-day work we are involved in.

As you may or may not already know, the NAO undertakes both financial audit and value for money (VfM) work. I mainly work on the financial audit side, with a team of colleagues on the Department of Health resource account audit. This is a consolidation (a big adding exercise) of the accounts from the core department and all of the bodies which make up the NHS, such as Trusts and Foundation Trusts. Most trainees predominantly work on a particular Department, but the fluidity of our allocation system means we can work on any area (such as international audits, for those of you who are interested in travelling).

As a financial auditor, the summer months (May, June and July) tend to be the busiest period of the year. This is because the majority of central government bodies, such as the Department of Health, produce annual accounts to the year ending 31 March, which require auditing before they are laid before Parliament. As Parliament rises for recess in early July, the auditing timetable tends to be in line with this date. Although this time is quite a busy one, especially as we travel to Leeds to visit the Department, it’s a good opportunity to work on different areas and to get to know your colleagues (which can be quite fun!).

As well as the time constraints, the work I do is challenging because of the range of different issues I come across and the variety of areas that I work on. The training provided by the NAO and going to college for the ICAEW exams gives the necessary skills and qualifications for my work, though government-specific knowledge is learnt on the job. This was particularly useful for me as I joined the NAO with little (no) knowledge of both accounting and auditing – so for those of you who are in a similar position, don’t worry!

Laura W.

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