Horizon scanning: Challenges and opportunities in 2023

The Horizon Scanning report provides insight in to the new and emerging areas of risks that Heads of Internal Audit should be considering when preparing and planning their Internal Audit Plans for 2023/24.

Each chapter of the report covers topical issues to help your organisation effectively and robustly manage public finances and aid in local authorities ability to deliver services and to benefit local communities.

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HS - economic challenges

In this chapter our Chief Economist, shares his insights on how the economic challenges facing local authorities might be approached.

HS - workforce

The talent management and recruitment crisis affecting Local Authorities presents a significant risk. This chapter highlights some of the risks that should be considered in the Internal audit Plan.

HS - political

This chapter looks at how a changing political landscape in central and local government can increase risk and provides a check-list on what to consider as part of your Internal Audit plan.

Related article: Getting the culture right is critical for local government to succeed in its goals.

HS - social housing

What are the key questions, Local Authority internal audit teams need to consider to be prepared for the Regulator of Social Housing’s new consumer regulation?

Related article: Reflections on rent policy for social housing providers after 2025

An update from the Regulator – Spring 2023

HS - tech

Digital transformation and cyber security are the buzz words of the day, but what do they mean for Local Authorities and what risks should Internal Audit consider? Find out what our recent research reveals.

HS - sustainability

This chapter provides insights on the climate emergency, and how deregulation could impact the sustainability of developments. Plus, top tips on integrating ESG into your organisation and key focus areas for the Internal Audit plan.

HS - fraud

The risk of fraud is increasing and changing. But, by ensuring Local Authorities have robust counter fraud and anti-bribery functions in place, they are better placed to mitigate the risk and be prepared if fraud does occur.

HS - Tax

This chapter looks at the changes in workers legislation and employment tax status and what it means for Local Authorities. It covers the potential risks due to IR35, salary sacrifice schemes and national minimum wage.

HS - projects

Local Authorities are implementing significant technology and capital projects to provide and remodel services. But with these come inherent risks to budgets and timelines and important considerations for the Internal Audit plan.


While some Local Authorities are facing challenges with their PFI contracts, this chapter explores how these could be overcome, and some of the key considerations for the Internal Audit plan.


To stay ahead of the changing and challenging landscape affecting Local Authorities, our experts provide additional insight on the impact on financial systems and income streams affected by the cost-of-living crisis, and how to gain assurance that effective controls are in place.

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