Grant Audits

What are Grant Audits?

Grant audits are a systematic and independent examination of organisations that receive funding through a grant such as Innovate UK. These audits are conducted to ensure that grant funds are used appropriately, in accordance with the grant agreement, and for their intended purposes. Grant audits aim to maintain transparency, accountability, and compliance with regulations. 

The grant audit value can vary greatly, but our team have worked on audits from £13,000 up to £5 million.  

Who can carry out a Grant Audit?

It is usually specified that a firm who are registered auditors can conduct the grant audit, however, it is important that the firm is experienced in dealing with grant audits and the potential issues that may arise. At Scrutton Bland, our team of experienced auditors can complete the audit either on-site or remotely.  

How do I know if the funding I’ve applied for needs a grant audit?

Determining whether the funding you’ve applied for will be subject to a grant audit depends on various factors such as who the grant has been provided by, the size of the grant, the complexity of the project, the agreement terms and past performance with other funding.  

Here are five tips:

 1. Review the terms and conditions of your grant agreement. Some agreements explicitly state that audits may be conducted as a condition of receiving the grant

2. Grants provided by government bodies or public entities are more likely to undergo audits due to the involvement of public funds and accountability considerations

3. Larger grants are more likely to be audited. If the grant is substantial, there is a higher probability of it being subject to an audit

4. Grants for complex projects with multiple stakeholders, significant impact, or a long duration may be subject to audits to ensure proper management and accountability

5. If your organisation has a history of grant non-compliance or financial irregularities, you may be more likely to face an audit

We complete independent accountants’ reports (IARs) for a range of grant providers, including: 

Innovate UK (IUK)

Department for Transport

Department for Education

Education and Skills Funding Agency

What will be audited?

Grant audits typically encompass the following key areas: 

Compliance with Grant Agreement

Our auditors will assess whether the funds have been used as specified in the grant agreement. This includes verifying that you have met all the obligations outlined in the agreement.

Programmatic Performance

In addition to financial aspects, we may need to evaluate the performance of your project or programme. We check if you’ve achieved the objectives and outcomes defined in the grant agreement.

Documentation and Record-keeping

Proper documentation and record-keeping are crucial, as we will look for evidence to support expenditures and project achievements such as labour, subcontractors, overheads, capital usage travel and subsistence expenses and materials. We may also ask to cross-check payroll costs, original invoices, receipts, tendering documentation and evidence of payment.

How can I prepare for a grant audit?

Make sure you thoroughly comprehend the terms and conditions of the funding you are seeking. 

We advise you to consult with an auditor when accepting your funding, rather than waiting until just before the grant audit is due so that you can plan ahead.  

We also suggest that you maintain digital records of the supporting documentation and costing rationales that back up the expenditure being claimed for so that it makes it easier when having the audit grant reviewed.  

At Scrutton Bland, we understand that there can be a tight turnaround needed to have your grant audit completed and this is something our team are used to accommodating and working with you to meet tight deadlines.  

Need help? Contact one of our advisers