Annual Return

Each year, Nether Alderley Parish Council is required to arrange and undergo an audit. The expectations are compulsory and universal to all Parish Councils.

Explanation of Parish Council Audit

Audits for Parish Councils, like Nether Alderley, are comprised of two parts.

Part One – Internal Audit

Soon after the end of the financial year and once the accounts for that year have been considered and approved by the Parish Council, the Parish Council undergoes an ‘internal audit’ where an independent auditing company considers and inspects a whole range of Parish Council documents and records and assesses Parish Council financial activity over the year

Records submitted to the Internal Auditor include the following:

• all the payment invoices and receipts for the financial year. The accounts book.

• bank statements

• quarterly bank reconciliations and comparisons of receipts and expenditure against each budgeted area, that are prepared by the Clerk and presented to and considered by the Parish Council each quarter

• The approved detailed accounts for the year. The budget prepared for the following year. Evidence of notification for the Precept.

• Parish Council minutes, to check proper recording of reviews of policies and recording of all financial activity

• The Parish Council’s Asset Register

• Regulations such as Financial Regulations, Procedural Standing Orders, Data Protection notification, Information Security Policy, Risk Assessment

• Insurance documentation

• Employer records, employee/payroll information and HMRC information

• VAT returns and VAT records

• Information about the Burial Board

The Internal Auditor carries out checks eg that Parish Council activity is in accordance with its Financial Regulations, statutory expectation and other Parish Council policies, that the policies that are in place are as statutorily expected, are up to date, are comprehensive and that the Parish Council reviews its policies regularly.

The Internal Auditor also considers the ‘Annual Return’ (please see the second part of the Audit process) – a document that Parish Councils are required to complete to send to an ‘External Audit’ company that is appointed to them.

The Internal Auditor completes a report on the findings of their audit, on Page 5 of the Annual Return, and also sends a separate report to the Parish Council.

Part Two – External Audit

The Parish Council must complete two sections of the ‘Annual Return’ document which is sent to the External Auditor.

The first section completed by the Parish Council is the ‘Accounting Statements’ and is a summary of financial activity through the year. An analysis of the comparison of financial activity with the previous year, the ‘significant variances’ is also sent to the External Auditor, together with a bank reconciliation for the end of the financial year.

The second section is the ‘Annual Governance Statement’ which lists a number of statements relating to financial activity, internal mechanisms of control, consideration of the results of previous Internal and External Audits and other aspects and expectations involved in the operation of the Parish Council. The Parish Council considers each aspect in detail and must agree and approve whether or not each aspect has been adhered to.

The two completed sections of the Annual Return must be approved by the Parish Council. This usually takes place at a meeting in April or May. Once the two Parish Council sections have been approved and the Internal Audit section completed, the Annual Return is sent to the External Audit company, for audit.

Within a month or two, the Annual Return is returned to the Parish Council, with a completed External Auditor’s Report (page 4).

Financial Year 2016/17

The notices for the Exercise of Public Rights in relation to the Parish Council’s Annual Return and accounting records for the financial year 2016/17 can be found here

The unaudited Annual Return for 2016/17 can be found here. The explanation of account variances here

The list of expenditure for items over £100 for the financial year 2016/17 can be found here and bank reconciliation here.

The notice for Conclusion of Audit and audited Annual Return for the Financial Year 2016/17 and accounting records for the financial year 2016/17 are currently unavailable until the external audit has been completed.

Financial Year 2015/16

Nether Alderley Parish Council has undergone the Internal Audit for this year. The appropriate sections of the Annual Return have been completed by the Parish Council and Internal Auditor and the Annual Return has been sent to the External Auditor.

The list of expenditure for items over £100 for the financial year 2015/16 can be found here and bank reconciliation here

An explanation of accounts variances can be found here

The notice for Conclusion of Audit and audited Annual Return for the Financial Year 2015/16 and External Auditor’s report can be found here.

The audited accounts are available for inspection by local electors in accordance with section 14 of the Audit Commission Act 1998. The Annual Return can be viewed on the website or by application to the Clerk of Nether Alderley Parish Council (Tel.: 07717 244 537 or email: clerk.napc@gmail.com).

11/08/2016