The criteria for having an affiliate group is that must be affordable so it depends on what that accountancy bill is,but from what I've experienced with running groups the transport and ticket costs can soon having you running into thousands.
One very large supporters groups I know decided last year to dispense with audited accounts -they may be a affiliate member of the FSA- and in 2009 the LU Trust opted to replace audited with a 'independent financial examination',so over the span there seems to be inconsistency.
To be fair to the FSA (as it know is) this does lay down a stricter criteria but imo thats largely unaffordable to many, so therefore by default their input is restricted. Whether it actually will apply to recognised Trusts we'll have to wait and see,because it seems to me in the past some have been given a bit of leeway.
We'll wait and see on that because 'certified' is a subjective term and gives the NC top table plenty of wriggle room. Its wording is in my view a misrepresentation because of the ambiguity and at the last EGM the NC worked hard to 'relegate' many affiliates to associate status.Whether deliberately or otherwise you have misrepresented the position. The rule which you quoted higher up states "the organisation must publish annual accounts which are audited or certified annual accounts or, if annual income and expenditure do not exceed £100, a simple written statement and such audited or certified accounts or written statement must be approved or received" ( my emphasis)
The "or" which I have highlighted is very significant. As you say a full audit is indeed expensive and probably unaffordable for many small supporters organisations, which is precisely why we don't require it. Certified accounts can be produced at little or no cost and it is reasonable and proportionate to require such.