Agenda item

Briefing on Progress on Preparing the 2021/22 Statement of Accounts & Update on 2020/21 Audit of Accounts


The Key Audit Partner (Grant Thornton) provided members with a brief verbal update on progress regarding the 2020/2021 Audit of Accounts. He acknowledged everyone had hoped the Audit would have concluded, however, there were still two areas where work was ongoing. He explained that much of the work had been completed but there were two key areas outstanding relating to:

·        Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE) - issue has been reported previously. The Council had now provided Grant Thornton with detailed calculations of how the valuations have been formed, and that information has been passed to Grant Thornton's experts to review due to the complex nature. This had led to a number of further queries which SSDC management are working through with the Grant Thornton experts - some of the queries were quite detailed and technical. Once the responses are received, they would need to be reviewed, which may lead to further queries which will need to be addressed.

·        Final set of accounts for 2020/2021 - Grant Thornton has received an updated version of the accounts , however some of the adjustments and figures have changed in ways that weren't expected. Grant Thornton were awaiting a response from SSDC management to explain the changes made. Regarding the changes that weren't expected - they would need to be reviewed to check still appropriate.


In response to the update from Grant Thornton, the Lead Specialist (Finance) provided a brief update from the SSDC perspective. He explained that 19 queries had been raised by the Grant Thornton valuation team - some could be directly answered by the SSDC Finance team, however other responses required some additional work with external partners that SSDC are working with. It was hoped responses would be provided to Grant Thornton within the coming week.


During discussion, the Key Audit Partner responded to points of detail, including:

·        the audit process is undertaken on the draft financial statements. Expected adjustments are identified based on what has been identified as errors throughout the year, and that is then reported to Audit Committee as part of the Audit Findings report.

·        Currently, the information had been shared with management and, as explained, a revised set of statements has been received by Grant Thornton (GT) which included some changes that weren’t in line with GT expectations, so at the moment it was unusual. Therefore GT have had to go back to management to seek an explanation for the changes. The Lead Specialist (Finance) had now provided verbal assurance  that all the changes could be explained and a reconciliation can be provided. However, the Lead Specialist (Finance) has also stated the information needs to be finalised and formally returned to GT.


The Lead Specialist (Finance) then provided a brief progress update regarding the preparation of the 2021/2022 Statement of Accounts. He reminded members that the deadline for publication of the Statement of Accounts was 31 July 2022, and noted the team were in the very final stages of producing the draft statement. The work would be completed by the end of the week with the intention to publish the Statement of Accounts on the website by the end of Friday 29 July, so all was on schedule.


The Chairman thanked the officers from Grant Thornton for attending the meeting and providing their update.

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