Agenda item

Statement of Accounts 2018-19

(Copy herewith)




At the Chair’s invitation, Debbie Middleton introduced the report and explained that the Audit Committee had previously considered the draft statement of accounts for 2018/19. She expressed that team had been working closely with EY over the past 12 months and the Audit Committee were asked to consider the significant adjustments and changes made. Debbie highlighted the recommendations in section 2 of the report and explained that given the demise of the authority on 31 March 2021 members were given several options and asked members to consider 2.1.3 and 2.1.4. She concluded that the accounts were to be signed by the Chair and Chief Finance Officer before 31st March 2021 as outlined in recommendation 2.1.3. However, 2.1.4 detailed that for any unforeseen reason that the accounts would not be signed in time this would be handed over to the West Northamptonshire Council.


The Corporate Accountant then presented the report and explained that the accounts presented to the Audit Committee were still subject to final agreement with the External Auditor, and that the changes still being agreed were minor involving the improvement of wording and dealing with small rounding queries. One area where there would be a slightly larger change is in the Expenditure and Funding Analysis, which is detailed in Note 1C on page 168 of the report. The Housing Revenue Account figures were inadvertently removed from this disclosure and needed to be re-added. She explained that members had a detailed explanation of the accounts when the 2018-19 statements were originally presented in September 2019.


The Corporate Accountant summarised that she would explain the changes that had been made:


·       Table 1 in the report on Page 114 detailed the impact of audit amendments on the Council’s usable reserves, with £42,000 added to the General Fund and a reduction of £4,625,000 in earmarked reserves for a transfer to unusable reserves to provide for financing costs linked to the Football Club loan which was initially treated as Capital Expenditure and needed to be financed in the same way as other capital expenditure. The latter is because the principal on a number of the original loan tranches was due to be repaid in 2018-19 and would have been applied to unusable reserves to provide for the financing costs.

·       Table 2 in the report, also on Page 114 details the movement in the Council’s net worth as a result of the audit amendments. This included one large movement in connection with Assets under Construction where it had been agreed with the auditor to impair the value of the asset, which is currently just the site clearance costs, as the redevelopment project has not yet progressed.  There are also a number of property valuation changes which have resulted in a small net increase in property values.

·       Appendix A to the report details all the changes to the balance sheet from the initial published accounts and shows some large correction movements between classes of assets and liabilities which do not impact on the net worth or on useable reserves. It confirms the reduction in net worth and shows the impact on individual reserves of the audit amendments.  The Appendix also shows in summary the impact on the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Account of the changes.

·       Appendix B is the revised accounts presented for approval but are still subject to final agreement with the External Auditor as explained before.

·       Appendix C is the Management Letter of Representation which needs to be approved by members now and sent to the Auditors with the signed accounts.


The Corporate Accountant concluded her presentation and offered to answer any questions the Audit Committee may have. Members and the Chair were pleased to see the report and thanked the Corporate Accountant and the team for their hard work.


Members voted on the recommendations 2.1.3 and 2.1.4 and the vote was unanimously agreed.




2.1.3 That the Audit Committee delegated authority to the Chief Finance Officer and the Chair of Audit Committee on or before 31 March 2021 to:

i) approve and sign the final Statement of Accounts for Northampton

Borough Council at Appendix B as revised by the resolution of outstanding

items set out in the Audit Results Report; and

ii) approve and sign the letter of representation on behalf of the Borough

Council at Appendix C, as revised by the resolution of outstanding items set

out in the Audit Results Report.


2.1.4 That the Audit Committee agreed that in the event that all outstanding matters cannot be resolved to enable signing of the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts and the Letter of Representation by 31 March 2021 as set out in 2.1.2 or 2.1.3 above, that those matters shall be referred to the Audit Committee of the new West Northamptonshire Council at the earliest practicable date after 1 April 2021.







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