Audits and Annual Returns
As a Parish Council, we have a legal obligation through the Local Audit & Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts & Audit Regulations 2015 to tell our residents and tax payers how we spend our money in respect of our accounting and auditing procedures.
We do this in a number of ways:
Parish Council Meetings
At a normal Parish Council meeting, the Parish Councillors approve all payments to be made. These payments and the amounts requested are shown on the agenda under the relevant agenda item. They also receive and approve bank reconciliations and also approve budget monitoring each quarter.
An Internal Auditor is appointed each year to review the accounts and all aspects of internal control. The internal auditor is an independent and competent person appointed by the Parish Council and cannot be involved in any business with the Council. The internal auditor must report back to the Council and sign a report on the Annual Governance and Accountability Review (AGAR) to confirm that the council’s system of control is competent and operating successfully.
Changes to External Audit
There have been some recent changes made to the external auditing process. Any small Parish Council with expenditure less than £25K subject to the requirements within the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities are now eligible to exempt themselves from an external audit with the idea that parishioners are best placed to access and scrutinise this information and bring the Council to account.
An Internal Audit will still be undertaken and the Council are still required to publish exactly the same amount of documentation as in prior years as well as providing public rights. It is now also a legal requirement through the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities that we publish certain documents on this website relating to accountancy and the audit process.
This includes an Annual Governance and Accountability Review (AGAR) which includes the findings of the Internal Auditor, (the Annual Internal Audit Report), together with Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statement.
Because Sutton Cheney Parish Council manages expenditure under £25,000, we are exempt from an external audit.
If you are a registered local government elector (i.e. you appear on the electoral register for the area covered by the Council) you have legal rights to inspect, ask questions about and challenge items in your council's accounts. For more information, the National Audit Office has published a guide - Council Accounts - a guide to your rights
Audit Documents - 2018 - 2019
In this section you will find all the documents which the Council is required to publish regarding AGAR (Annual Governance and Accountability Review).
The Certificate of Exemption from Audit is now available to view via the link below, together with all other required documents.