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by Margaret Taylor
03 May 2023
SNP accounts: Yousaf confirms appointment of new audit firm

SNP accounts: Yousaf confirms appointment of new audit firm

First Minister Humza Yousaf has confirmed that his party is on course to file its accounts for the last financial year after appointing a new firm of auditors.

The SNP, which Yousaf has led since replacing Nicola Sturgeon at the end of March, has been without an auditor since Johnston Carmichael stood down from the role at the end of last year.

The party is required to file audited 2022 accounts with the Electoral Commission by the start of July while its Westminster group must file by the end of this month in order to continue receiving the £1.2m in short money – public funding paid to all opposition parties – it needs to help pay its running costs.

In a statement issued this morning, Yousaf said the party had appointed Manchester-based AMS Accountants Group to the job.

Founded in 1982, the firm is run by chief executive Ebrahim Sidat, who trained at Big Four practice KPMG, and managing director David Clegg, who began his career at RMS Tenon.

According to Companies House, the firm was late filing its most recent confirmation statement, a document all registered businesses are required to update on an annual basis. The document, which contains basic company information as well as details of who is in charge of a company, was marked as overdue on Companies House when Yousaf made his announcement this morning but has since been filed.

Speaking about the appointment, Yousaf said he is “pleased to confirm that we have secured the services of auditors to take forward our accounts”.

“We take our statutory obligations extremely seriously, so it is welcome news that AMS Accountants Group will complete the accounts for both the party and the SNP Westminster group,” he said.

“There is hard work ahead, but it is really encouraging to have them on board as we work towards challenging deadlines.

“I am very grateful for the work of our new party treasurer Stuart McDonald in securing the auditors' services.

“I also wish to thank our previous auditors Johnston Carmichael for their professional work over many years.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn added that he is "confident" the party will be able to meet its accounts deadline "as in previous years".

"Throughout this period, SNP MPs have remained focused on standing up for Scotland and supporting our staff," he said.

Although Johnston Carmichael stood down as SNP auditor last year, the news only came to light after Yousaf won the race to replace Sturgeon as party leader and first minister. He had not been made aware that the party, whose finances are under investigation by Police Scotland, did not have an auditor until after taking over the top job.

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