24th April 2008

Instructions for using PN16 templates

Practice Note 16 (Revised 2011) guidance is a resource for auditors and banks that sets out the audit confirmation process that has been agreed between the UK auditing profession and the BBA. In 2014, the BBA also launched BBA Confirmations, powered by Confirmation.com, to provide a secure online solution for performing audit confirmations.

Points to remember

1. To ensure that audit requests are sent to the correct location for each bank to process as quickly as possible, please use this link to find every bank’s contact details. Please ensure you send the audit request to the correct address as specified, otherwise this can increase the timescale for completion.

2. Auditors need to provide the customer’s main sort code and account number for each legal entity on their audit request and a facility account number for trade finance or derivative and commodity trading information (if required). This will enable the banks to find the right details for their customer and prevent them from searching for facilities that may not exist.

3. For requests submitted by paper or email, there are three specially designed request templates to help you gather the information you need:

  • Standard (which includes the option to request additional information on trade finance and derivative and commodity trading)
  • Fast-track (only to be used in circumstances whereby the reporting deadline is a month or less after the year end/audit confirmation date)
  • Incomplete Information (use this form in exceptional circumstances; the auditor will be expected to acknowledge that the bank’s response may take longer than usual to process)

These templates should be used in conjunction with auditors’ own note paper and must include full contact details for the auditor. Copies of these templates are available below.

4. Although auditors do not need to provide a new Authority to Disclose (ATD) for a client each time they submit an audit request, please ensure that the ATD for each customer is reviewed with your client and make sure all legal entities are covered and the authorisation signatures are appropriate.

  • A new authority will be needed in the case of a new audit entity.
  • An updated authority will be needed in the case of entity changes (e.g. new group entities/auditor changes).

5. To ensure that the bank has sufficient time to pull together the required information, auditors are reminded to send the request to reach the bank one month in advance of the period end date. It would be advisable to send them earlier than the month around peak periods such as March and December year ends.

6. If an auditor requires a bank to confirm receipt of the audit request, and provided the bank offers this service, please supply your email address on the audit request template for the bank to use and a unique reference number which does not identify the client. Banks not subscribing to acknowledgement by email will confirm receipt by post, usually within five working days.

Please find here a link to practical guidance on the implementation of PN16, provided by the ICAEW Audit and Assurance Faculty.