How is the order of components determined?

From the Glyphs Mini manual:

“Letters with accents (‘mark compounds’): If the first component points to a ‘Letter’ glyph, and the following components point to ‘Mark’ glyphs…”

What determines the order of components?
In my ‘á’ I have a grave component and an ‘a’ letter component. Which is the first one?
I ask because on some of my glyphs automatic alignment is being determined using the accent instead of the letter.

What you insert first is first and what you insert second is second. You can manage shape orders with Filter > Fix Compatibility.

Most default recipes have the right order baked in, so in the case you mention you could simply Glyph > Make Component Glyph and the glyph will be reset to the default components in their default order.

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What you you mean by ‘determined’?
For the automatic alignment to work, the base letter has to be first and then the mark can attach to it.
The easiest way to change the order is to select the mark and Com+x and Cmd+v (cut and Paste).