Agenda item

Audit Results Report 2019-20 (Agenda item 9)

Report by External Audit, E&Y.


Mark Hodgson, the External Auditor & Associate Partner for Ernest & Young LLP presented the audit results report.


In May 2020, Members had been provided with an overview of external audit’s scope and approach for the audit of the financial statements and had carried out the audit with a number of exceptions as a result of Covid-19.


The report summarised the preliminary audit conclusion in relation to the audit of Breckland Council 2019/20.


Subject to concluding the outstanding matters listed in the report on page 31 of the agenda pack, it was expected that an unqualified opinion would be issued on the Council’s Financial Statements.


The key findings from the 2019/20 audit and the areas of work that had been covered were explained in great detail and the Finance Team were thanked for their unprecedented cooperation.


The Vice-Chairman, Councillor Kybird referred to page 32 of the agenda pack under Section 1 – ‘Going Concern’ where it stated that an additional disclosure should be included in the statement of accounts at Note 31 but the highest number in the accounts was Note 30 and he asked if this was something to be completed following the review. 


Mr Hodgson, the External Auditor apologised as although the wording for Note 31 had been agreed it would be actioned by Breckland as part of the final revised statement of accounts.


Mr Plaskett asked what the timescales were for completing the review of work outstanding in respect of property plant & equipment and pensions which he felt could have a significant effect on the accounts,


In response, Members were informed that this work was well underway and although there could be further adjustments, the auditors should be in a position to sign the accounts in the next 2 weeks.


Mr Plaskett then referred to page 57 of the agenda pack, the audit fee chart which he found difficult to understand.


Mr Hodgson explained that the far right had column was the previous year’s audit fee, the middle column was the scale fee that had been set by the Regulator 2 years ago and then the left hand numeric column was where the external auditors felt that scale of fee and audit work should be. The second figure in this column was for the additional work required taking into account the number of risk factors but was subject to review and approval by PSAA Ltd.


Referring to Appendix B, the request for a Management Representation letter, Mr Plaskett was surprised that the Council had not issued this yet.  Members were informed that this was a standard request and he did not expect the Chief Accountant to provide him with this until the date of signing.


Having heard the discussions, Councillor Hewett, the Executive Member for Contracts & Assets felt that on all 3 options it seemed to be that any adjustments to the final accounts would be in the form of an additional disclosure rather than financial adjustments. 



Councillor Birt appreciated the difficulties of completing this and it was 2 weeks away before the Council has some sort of finality and asked if it would be possible to have an update sent round to all Members of the Committee including the non-Members in attendance just to indicate where everything was at. 


The Chief Accountant pointed out that such a request had been proposed in the Statement of Accounts report, the next item on the agenda. 


Subject to the conclusion of the outstanding matters; it was:


RESOLVED that the Audit Results report be noted.

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