Issue - decisions

External Audit Annual Audit Letter

17/09/2019 - External Audit Annual Audit Letter

The Committee considered a report by Grant Thornton regarding the External Audit Annual Audit Letter (circulated previously).


The Head of Resources provided the Committee with an update on behalf of the External Auditors. He advised the Committee of the following points in the External Audit Annual Audit Letter:


  • The Executive Summary included the details of the successful outcomes of their work with the Council, their audit approach, Value for Money conclusion, Best Practice reports, details of any significant audit risks and the fees of the External Audit during the year.
  • The Value for Money Conclusion was that they were ‘Satisfied that in all significant respects the Council put in place proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources for the year ending 31 March 2019’.
  • They wished to forward their appreciation for the Council staff during the audit.
  • An ‘Unqualified’ opinion had been made and published on the Council’s website.
  • The Audit fees of £40,999 were lower than those of 2017/18 however, this figure included an additional £4,500 yet to be approved by the Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA).
  • A fee of £21,253 due for ‘non-audit services’ covered the Certification of Housing Benefit.


The Head of Resources added that, in relation to the identified significant risks:


  • Valuation of land and buildings: Grant Thornton had again recommended that the Council change the date of the valuation to 31st March (from 1st April) to match the balance sheet date. The Council had resisted this previously as it could result in the statutory accounts being delayed.  The Council were looking into the matter further to see if the date could be brought forward in order to assist the auditors.
  • Valuation of net pension liability: a note relating to the McCloud judgement had now been included within the Accounts. 


In response to a question from the Committee, the Head of Resources confirmed that the Local Authorities would not be recompensed for the costs incurred following the McCloud judgement.


RESOLVED that the External Audit Annual Audit Letter be noted.