This study examines auditor and audit environmental attributes perceived to be important when appointing an auditor within the context of compulsory audit tendering (CAT) in Australian local government. The New South Wales Local Government Act (1993) introduced compulsory audit tendering as the means of external audit procurement for local councils in the Australian state of New South Wales. The Act mandated auditor selection decisions for local councils by requiring them to tender their audit services every six years, for tenure periods of six years. A survey of local council finance managers (equivalent to chief financial officers) was conducted to collect data on perceptions of attributes important in the auditor appointment decision within a CAT context. The study found that auditor and audit environmental attributes relating to audit quality, specifically technical competence, reputation and relationships with the incumbent auditor, were perceived to be the most important considerations in the auditor appointment decision. The study provides initial evidence to suggest that audit tendering is not necessarily associated with lower levels of audit quality, as has been claimed, and provides preliminary evidence on what might be expected if compulsory audit tendering is adopted in other jurisdictions.