Agenda item

Agenda item

2014/15 Statement of Accounts


To present for approval the 2014/15 Statement of Accounts for Central Bedfordshire Council and the letter of representation to the external auditors.



The Committee considered a report by the Chief Finance Officer which presented the 2014/15 Statement of Accounts for approval.  A copy of the annual accounts document was attached at Appendix A to the Chief Finance Officer’s report.


In addition a table setting out various amendments to the annual accounts document included with the agenda, was circulated at the meeting.  The Head of Financial Control informed the meeting that the amendments, which reflected either corrections of typographical errors or instances where some specific numbers in the notes to the accounts had not been updated in line with the changes reported, had no impact on the General Fund balance.


A copy of the table of amendments is attached at Appendix B to these minutes.


The Committee was aware that the annual accounts had to be published with the audit opinion and certificate by no later than 30 September following the end of the financial year.  In advance of this the accounts needed to be approved by Members.  Approval was, therefore, required at this meeting of the Audit Committee.  In addition, auditing standards required an authority’s external auditor to obtain appropriate written representation from the council about the financial statements and governance arrangements.  As a result the Committee was also asked to approve a draft letter of representation to its external auditor, Ernst & Young LLP.  A copy of the letter was attached at Appendix B to the Chief Finance Officer’s report.


Members were reminded that, as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations, the Chief Finance Officer had certified the draft 2014/15 annual accounts on 29 June 2015.  A presentation to explain the key figures within the accounts had been made to the Audit Committee and other Members at its meeting on the same day (minute AUD/15/6 refers) followed by a period of public inspection which had closed on 31 July.  The annual accounts had also been subject to an external audit validation by Ernst & Young and the resulting Audit Results Report, which formed item 8 on the agenda, had already been considered (minute AUD/15/19 above refers).


The Head of Financial Control worked through the annual accounts document explaining to Members the background to the corrections made to the misstatements identified through the audit process and outlining why the Collection Fund related misstatements identified within the Audit Results Report had not been corrected in 2014/15.  He explained that the corrected misstatements related to the classification of capital financing transactions or the application of historical capital resources or errors made in the presentation of financial information.  Corrections made in respect of the application of capital resources had the impact of reducing the Council’s borrowing requirement and associated revenue costs from 2015/16.


The Head of Financial Control explained that the uncorrected misstatements related to arrears in respect of Council Tax and associated recovery costs.  He explained that it was important to note that the Revenues system for Council tax and business rates had complete and accurate records for all taxpayers and there was no impact on debt recovery activity. The issue identified through the audit process was that the overall value for Council taxpayers arrears was understated in the Council’s accounting system. A correction to the position would improve the financial position of the Collection Fund and the General Fund balance. The corrections had not been made in the 2014/15 statements to allow further work to be carried out to confirm the values. It was planned that the impact on the Council and major preceptors of any corrections would be confirmed in time to update forecasts used for 2016/17 budget setting.


In response Members welcomed this action as the increased accuracy which resulted was viewed as producing more effective governance.  Following an enquiry from a Member the Head of Financial Control confirmed that all the  legacy council issues identified through the audit process had been addressed and that a number of changes to the final accounts process for the current year would assist in further improving levels of assurance. He indicated that he did not know of any identified legacy council issues that had not been addressed.


The Head of Financial Control confirmed that the audit of the Cash Flow Statement, Note 28 (Segmental reporting) and Whole of Government Accounts was still in progress. He expected that both the Cash Flow Statement and Note 28 would be amended to reflect the various changes outlined in the Audit Results Report.




1          that the 2014/15 Statement of Accounts for Central Bedfordshire Council, as set out at Appendix A to the report of the Chief Finance Officer and incorporating those amendments set out in the table circulated at the meeting by the Head of Financial Control, be approved;


2          that the Chairman be authorised to approve and sign a revised version of the 2014/15 Statement of Accounts and Letter of Representation if changes were required following the completion of the audit to the Cash Flow Statement with its associated notes and Note 28 – Amounts Reported for Resource Allocation Decisions;


3          that the Annual Governance Statement for 2014/15, previously approved at the meeting of the Audit Committee on 29 June 2015, be included with the published 2014/15 Statement of Accounts;


4          that the draft Letter of Representation, as set out at Appendix B to the report of the Chief Finance Officer, be approved for submission to the Council’s external auditor, Ernst & Young LLP, and that the Chairman of the Audit Committee and the Chief Finance Officer be authorised to sign it.



Supporting documents: