To present the unaudited Financial Statements 2018/19, including Annual Governance Statement, for members’ consideration, prior to formal approval by the Executive Director Commercialisation (report of the Executive Director Commercialisation (Section 151 Officer) enclosed).
A verbal update from the External Auditor will be provided by Mark Hodgson (Associate Partner, Ernst and Young).
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Commercialisation (S151) which presented the unaudited Financial Statements 2018/19, including Annual Governance Statement for members’ consideration, prior to formal approval by the Executive Director Commercialisation.
The Accounts and Audit regulations 2015 required that the Responsible Financial Officer signed the unaudited Financial Statements no later than 31 May; and the Financial statements be considered and approved by a committee of the Council no later than 31 July.
As part of the governance role, and in line with good practice, the report presented the unaudited financial statements to the Committee, to enable comments and challenge, and to highlight any key areas.
The Financial Statements production process was complete, and included in Appendix A was the unaudited version of the 2018/19 Financial Statements (this included the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement; Movement in Reserves Statement; Cash Flow Statement and Balance Sheet as at 31 March 2019).
The unaudited Financial Statements included the draft Annual Governance Statement, which the Committee was asked to review. The Annual Governance Statement explained how the Council had complied with the Code of Practice, and also met the requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations in relation to completing an annual review of the effectiveness of the Council’s system of internal control. The Annual Governance Statement had been updated to reflect various changes, such as areas highlighted in the internal audit annual report and opinion, and a review of significant governance issues
The timescales involved with the approval, inspection and audit of the Council’s financial statements for 2018/19 were:
· Executive Director (Commercialisation) signs Statements 31 May 2019
· Accounts available for public inspection from 31 May 2019
· Unaudited Financial Statements to Committee 6 June 2019
· Audit by Ernst and Young to commence July 2019 (date TBC)
· Financial Statements approved by Committee 25 July 2019
· Auditor’s opinion on Statements issued by 31 July 2019
The accounts had been prepared in accordance with the Code of Practice and the Council’s accounting policies, which were brought to the Committee in March 2019.
The External Auditor, Ernst &Young, commented that their audit plan had been presented to the last meeting of the Governance and Audit Committee. They had hoped to bring forward their work from the beginning of July however, this had not been possible and the date committed to was confirmed as 1 July 2019, with the Approval of Annual Governance Statement, for inclusion with the Council’s published financial statements and approval of the audited 2018/19 financial statements to be brought to 25 July meeting for sign off by the end of July 2019.
That the unaudited Financial Statements 2018/19, and the draft Annual Governance Statement, included within the unaudited Financial Statements 2018/19 be approved.