Agenda item

Draft Statement of Accounts (Agenda item 16)

Report of Mark Finch, Assistant Director of Finance.


Due to its size, the Statement of Accounts will be sent out as a separate document following the agenda issue.


This item was brought to the forefront of the meeting to allow Julie Kennealy, the new Strategic Director to attend the draft Statement of Accounts presentation.


The Accountancy Manager provided Members with a detailed presentation highlighting the two main areas of change to the accounting rules:


·        Collection Fund – more detail could be found in the Accounting Changes section of the Explanatory Foreword

·        Pensions – the adoption of the amended pension accounting standard (IAS 19) had resulted in re-classifications of costs/information which was essentially a reorganisation of existing information, but the disclosure note had a different look to previous years.


The capital out-turn report and the revenue out-turn report had been presented to Cabinet on 13 May 2014.  The revenue out-turn was in line with the working budget.  There had been a small change to the balance sheet due to a major addition of an investment property in Kings Lynn.  The PFI assets had been revalued and had increased in value.  The reduction in long and short term investments had been offset by the increase in cash and cash equivalents balance; this movement reflected the repayment of Icelandic balances in year and the limited counterparty list the Council had available for investments and its use of Money Market Funds as opposed to short term investments with banks and building societies.


The Council Tax Collection Fund balance had moved from a deficit position to a surplus position mainly due to the higher collection rate and additional second homes premium income.  This surplus would be included in the 2014/15 budget.


The Council’s liabilities had increased slightly mainly due to the risks being taken in relation to the new Business Rates Retention Scheme.


The Vice-Chairman asked if the Council had made any allowances for schools changing to academies.   Members were informed that provisions could be made but no provision had been made for this year.


Under the unusable reserves, the pensions had gone down slightly due to the latest tri-annual review and the capital receipts had increase this year due to the new supermarket in Swaffham.


Councillor Nunn asked if all the council tax surplus would be put forward into a future budget.    Members were informed that under the accounting rules the whole amount could be taken forward and this would be addressed in next year’s budget.


There were a few adjustments to be made to the Statement of Accounts prior to sign off on 19 June.  The audit of the accounts would commence on Monday, 16 June and would be brought back to the Audit Committee for sign off in September 2014.


In response to a question in relation to the NNDR deficit, Members were informed that the NNDR surplus had been quite significant prior to the appeals.


Referring to page 50 of the accounts in relation to assets under construction, Mr Ludlow asked why this amount had been shown as a transfer.  In response, the Accountancy Manager explained that the amount included the factory purchase in Kings Lynn.


On page 54 of the accounts, under long term debtors, a question was raised about mortgages.  It was explained that the Council only had one mortgage outstanding which unfortunately was in arrears.


Another question related to page 66 of the accounts, in relation to why the figures were all in brackets.   Members were informed that these could be shown either way.


In response to a query in relation to the commercial property trading account, it was explained that it was better to show the income first but this could be changed.


The Vice-Chairman felt that the Council’s Corporate Plan and priorities mentioned on page 3 of the explanatory foreword had run out of steam and thought it would be useful to have a note included as to when these were likely to be reviewed.  The Accountancy Manager and the Chairman agreed with this suggestion. 


RESOLVED that subject to the aforementioned changes, the draft un-audited Statement of Accounts for 2013-14 be noted.


The new Strategic Director said that she had been very impressed by the Finance Team and had been very pleased to meet everyone.


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