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 each 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 Return to confirm that the council’s system of control is competent and operating successfully.
The Council is also required to complete an 'Annual Return' (now known as the Annual Governance and Accountability Return or AGAR) which includes the findings of the Internal Auditor, together with Governance Statements and Financial Statements. This is then submitted to another independent 'external' auditor for examination on or before the 30th June. The external audit then reviews the AGAR and other documents as required and reports to the council and electors. As part of this process, the Council must publish the unaudited AGAR and make arrangements for a period in which interested persons can inspect the Council's accounts and related documents.
In due course (and by the 30th September each year) the Council must also publish a final copy of the audited AGAR, once this is received back from the external auditor.
Recent Changes to the Audit Process
There have been some recent changes made to the external auditing process. Any small Parish Council (turnover 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 completed and we 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 on this website certain documents relating to accountancy and the audit process.
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 - 2017-2018
In this section you will find all the documents which the Council is required to publish under the new rules 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. It should be noted that these documents are UNAUDITED.
- 2017-2018 Certificate of Exemption from Audit
- Internal Audit Report 2017 2018
- Annual Governance Statement 2017 2018
- Accounting Statements 2017 2018
- Bank Reconciliation 2017 2018
- Explananation of Variances 2017 2018
- Confirmation of the Dates of the Period for the Exercise of Public Rights
- Local Authority Accounts. A summary of your rights Page 1 of
- Local Authority Accounts. A summary of your rights Page 2 of
- Items of Expenditure above £100 year ending 31.3.18
Accounts for Year End 2016-2017
Please find attached all associated documentation for the Accounts year end 2016/17 for Sutton Cheney Parish Council.
All details for the Notice of Date of Commencement of Period for the Exercise of Public Rights is also attached.
- Notice of Date of Commencement of Period for the Exercise of Public Rights Annotations
- Notice of Date of Commencement of Period for the Exercise of Public Rights
- Accounts for Year End 2016/17 - Unaudited Notice notice
- Accounts for Year End 2016/17 - Unaudited - Section 1
- Accounts for Year End 2016/17 - Unaudited - Section 2
- Notice of Conclusion of Audit