Public Inspection Of The Accounts
For the 2015/16 financial year and beyond it is the Responsible Financial Officer of each smaller authority to set the commencement date for the exercise of public rights, rather than the auditor. From the commencement date set by the Responsible Financial Officer, and for a single period of 30 working days, the accounts can be inspected. During this period electors can ask questions of the auditor or make an objection. Any question or objection must be raised within the 30 day inspection period.
A Notice of Commencement Date For The Exercise Of Public Rights is issued to mark the start of the period for inspection of the accounts.
The End Of Year Accounts
The Annual Return
The annual return is a document that has several purposes:
- to report the annual accounting statements approved by the council;
- to certify that the council has discharged its statutory duties in relation to its financial affairs;
- to record that the external auditor has fulfilled their statutory responsibility;
- to inform the local taxpayer and elector about what and how their council has been doing during the last financial year; and
- to be a source of information for government and other stakeholders about the activity of local councils.
The annual return comprises four linked sections:
The annual governance statement;
The accounting statements;
The external auditor’s certificate and opinion; and
The report from internal audit.
The first three of these sections are intended to be displayed to the public, however from 1st April 2015 there is a requirement for internal audit report to also be published under the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities. These sections are listed separately below. When you click on a particular document you may find that it also includes other sections of the return. Normally the published return document would contain all three sections but this is not always the case.
The Annual Governance Statements
On an annual basis, the effectiveness of the governance framework is reported through the Annual Governance Statement and any significant governance issues are identified.
The Accounting Statements
The Annual Accounting Statements must be signed by the Responsible Financial Officer to certify that it presents fairly the financial position of the council at the end of the year to which it relates and its income and expenditure, or that it properly presents receipts and payments, as the case may be, and that it is consistent with the council’s underlying financial records
The External Auditors Certificate and Opinion
The auditor’s formal report recognises the relative statutory responsibilities of the council and its auditors and spells these out clearly in the annual return for all readers.
The Report From The Internal Auditor
With effect from 1st April 2015 this section is published annually by 1st July following the end of the financial year under the new Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities.
Notice Of Conclusion Of The External Audit of the Parish Council Accounts
Normally in August or September the external audit of the End Of Year accounts is completed and subsequently the Statement of Accounts and the Auditor’s Certificate and Report are published above for public inspection. A notice of Conclusion of Audit is issued on this website when these documents become available.