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:
At 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. Councillors also receive and approve bank reconciliations and also approve budget monitoring each quarter.
During Internal Audit
An internal auditor is appointed by the Council to review the accounts and all aspects of internal control. The internal auditor is independent and competent whom cannot be involved in any business with the Council. The internal auditor must report back to the Council and sign an auditors annual report on the Annual Governance and Accountability Review (AGAR) to confirm that the council’s system of control is competent and operating transparently.
Changes to external audit - 2017 onwards
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.
An Internal Audit will still be undertaken and the Council are still required to publish the same amount of documentation as in prior years as well as providing the exercise of public rights - a period that lasts 30 consecutive working days. 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. These can be found below.
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
External Audit and new Regulations following Covid-19
Previously there was a requirement for all smaller authorities to have a common period for the exercise of public rights, being the first 10 working days of July. Following Covid-19, new regulations have amended the deadline by which the (AGAR) together with any certificate of exemption must be published from 30 September 2020 to 30 November 2020.
Under the new regulations there is no requirement for a common period for the exercise of public rights. Smaller authorities are still required to set a period for this purpose, but the only requirement is that the 30-working day period for the exercise of public rights should start on or before the first working day of September 2020.
Audit Documents - 2019 - 2020
In this section you will find all the documents which the Council is required to publish regarding the AGAR for year ending 2019 - 2020.
- Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019 - 2020
- Certificate of Exemption from Audit 2019-2020
- Annual Internal Audit Report 2019 - 2020
- Annual Governance Statement 2019 - 2020
- Explanation of Variances 2019 - 2020
- Accounting Statement 2019 - 2020