Changes in the way that council accounts are checked will save Brighton and Hove taxpayers at least £700,000.
The job of auditing Brighton and Hove City Council’s accounts has been outsourced with the five-year contract going to Ernst and Young.
The accountancy, one of Britain’s biggest, will take over the work from the Audit Commission.
Yesterday afternoon Simon Mathers, from the Audit Commission, told councillors: “There is a 40 per cent reduction in the fee for Brighton and Hove City Council.
“The Audit Commission is very much smaller than it once was. And the scope of the work has been reduced.”
He also said that some of the cost had been driven out by the outsourcing process.
The current basic fee is £350,000 a year although in the past year the total bill came to £446,000.
The council’s audit committee was told yesterday (Tuesday 24 April) that the new contract would save £140,000 a year until 2016-17.
Catherine Vaughan, the council’s finance director, said that the changes to the Audit Commission would mean fewer value for money studies.
She said that these had been useful, enabling her to benchmark the council’s performance and compare it with other councils.
She added that the council would look at working with other local authorities to share information in new ways.