Statement of accounts and audit report
Update report by Ernst Young
The Associate-Partner (Ernst and Young) was in attendance to provide an update on the delay in production of the Council’s Statement of Accounts and Audit Report, which had been due at this meeting.
He advised that there had initially been issues around resourcing. He also advised that there had been a number of points to address within the audit which had resulted in Ernst and Young being unable to finalise the audit in time for this meeting. He apologised that this was the position, but advised that they were working with officers to achieve a completion shortly.
A list of queries was being worked through with officers, and the issues that had arisen that had required further investigation were:
· Property, plant and equipment;
· Additions in line with the CIPFA code;
· The valuation on HRA stock was currently understated and needed to be worked through;
· General Fund balances – there had not been many issues and this area of work was almost complete;
· Work was being undertaken with the auditor on the Lincolnshire Pension Fund;
· Financial instruments – more information was required regarding investments in subsidiaries
Members considered the information, and the following points arose:
· The Portfolio Holder Finance commented that initially, the audit had not started well however, progress was now being made.
· The Associate Partner (Ernst and Young) commented that the audit was progressing as quickly as possible, that the situation was not ideal however, a report would only be provided when all the information was available. The change in auditor had identified issues not addressed previously.
· The Strategic Finance and Compliance Manager commented that there had been a number of queries that had arisen and that a robust audit was therefore expected. The current proposal was that the audit would be presented to the next meeting of the Committee in January 2020.
· Representation had been made to the contract holder by the Authority to ensure that the situation would improve next year.
a) That the information provided be noted; and
b) That the Statement of Accounts and the Audit Report be available for consideration by the Committee at its next meeting in January 2020.
(The Associate Partner (Ernst and Young) left the meeting following consideration of the above item).