Agenda and minutes

Statutory Accounts Committee
Wednesday, 26 September 2007 7:00 pm

Venue: Terrace Room, York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham

Contact: Paul Johnston, 020 8891 7156, Email: 

No. Item




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    The Audit Commission have issued a Code of Audit Practice 2005, which sets out specific guidance for auditors on reporting to their audited bodies. The Code incorporates the relevant professional auditing standards that cover the ‘Communication of Audit Matters with Those Charged with Governance’ and specifically requires the presentation of this report in which the external auditor (PKF) presents any issues arising from the audit of the accounts before giving his audit opinion on the Council’s financial statements. These arrangements are intended to encourage greater openness and accountability. PKF will be attending the Committee to present their report and answer any questions Members may have.


    Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate ServicesAttached.


    Report of the External auditorAttached.  

    Additional documents:


    The report be noted.


    [The Committee heard a short presentation from Leigh Lloyd-Thomas of the Council’s external auditors (PKF).  Mr Lloyd-Thomas stated that the Statement of Accounts were the result of a good effort by the Council, particularly in view of the fact that these accounts included the biggest changes to accounting policies for many years. These changes had all been implemented correctly in the accounts and Mr Lloyd-Thomas praised the accounts as being good quality and one of the better sets of accounts he had audited this year.  He extended his thanks to officers within the Finance department for their efforts in producing the accounts. 


    Overall, the audit had identified only £69,000 of misstatements in the accounts, which was not considered a material amount.


    Mr Lloyd-Thomas did suggest several areas for improvement in the presentation of the accounts, all of which had taken on board by the officers.  In terms of value for money, the Auditors were happy to give a ‘clean value for money opinion’, but work on the final score judgements would continue until November 2007.


    The Director of Finance and Corporate Services stated that he was very pleased with the handover of auditing from the Audit Commission to PKF.  The required changes to the accounts had made the closing process more difficult this year and it was pleasing to note that all the technical issues had been correctly implemented. Those issues that had been picked up by the Auditors were relatively very small, and the Director extended his thanks to his colleagues in the Finance Department.


    The Committee endorsed the Director of Finance and Corporate Services’ praise of the Finance department, and noted that this was what had come to be expected of the Department. 


    Prior to detailed discussion over the Auditor’s report, the Committee raised several questions.  Councillor Lourie queried the precise definition of a ‘material’ error.  Mr Lloyd-Thomas responded that that a general limit of materiality had been set at £2 million and that in the past any adjustments to, or misstatements in the accounts below this level would only have been discussed and agreed with officers.  Improved reporting standards now require more detail to be brought to Members’ attention so that they can better judge the quality of the Accounts and a balance needs to be struck on what is regarded as ‘non-trivial’ and included in this report.  PKF have used a reporting level of £10,000 but Mr Lloyd-Thomas was happy to consider a higher figure for future reports if the Committee felt this was appropriate.  He stated the auditors would not expect adjustments to be made to the accounts on those items considered to be ‘non-trivial.’  Councillor True expressed his concerns over accounting procedures and risk of fraud raised in the report.  He stated that it was only right for Local Authorities to be entitled to having the correct procedures in place.  Officers replied that, in respect of the accounts payable process, an updated guidance was being prepared as to who in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Updated: 4 April 2014