DRAFT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2021-22
To receive a report by the Head of Finance and Property (copy attached) to
provide an update of the draft Statement of Accounts 2021/22 and the process underpinning it.
The Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets introduced the Draft Statement of Accounts 2020/21 (previously circulated), the report provided an update on the progress of the draft Statement of Accounts 2021/22 and the process underpinning it. Presenting the draft accounts provided an early indication of the council’s financial position and highlighted any issues in the accounts or the process prior to the accounts being audited.
Members were reminded the council had a statutory duty to produce a statement of accounts that complied with approved accounting standards.
The attached report was the draft Statement of Accounts; the final Statement of Accounts would be presented later in the year for sign off by the members. It had been hoped the accounts would be ready for the September committee meeting but it was now thought they would not be prepared in time and would be included on the November committee meeting.
The Head of Finance and Property Services reminded members that the reason for the report was Governance and Audit Committee had delegated responsibility to receive the report. A draft set of accounts were presented prior to the final accounts at a later meeting.
Within the report the statutory deadline dates of 31st May 2022 and 31st July 2022 were stated. Members heard Welsh Government send out a directive providing instructions of the course of action required if those dates could not be met. The authority had committed to meet the extended deadlines.
Members were guided through the headlines included in the cover report. It was confirmed the draft accounts had been finalised and signed by the Head of Finance on the 27th June 2022. An improvement from the previous year. The draft accounts had been made available for audit as required and would be open to public inspection from 15th July to 11th August.
Close working with Audit Wales had undergone in the reporting and auditing of the accounts. Further work and discussions on adjustments would continue over the recess. Officers had received guidance to support the completion of submitting the accounts. Members were guided to the narrative report which provided a summary of the activity conducted by the authority over the year. Members heard the importance of the Annual Governance Statement presented by Internal Audit forming part of the statement of accounts.
The Audit Wales representative David Williams echoed the issues communicated by the Head of Finance to members. Guidance for completion of the accounts had been presented to officers for support. One concern was the level of inflation. Further detailed work on assets was required.
Close working with Denbighshire officers over the next few months was needed to work through the issues and concerns. He confirmed it was likely the final statement of accounts and audits would be presented to the November committee meeting.
The Head of Finance and Property Services wanted to thank all for work that had been undertaken in completing the Draft Statement of Accounts.
Further guidance and information was provided on the following:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The authority did not have any investment properties. The Public Works Loans Board introduced strict rules around what borrowing money could be used for. Authorities could not borrow to purchase investment properties. The council did own properties that would increase in value that potentially might be sold in the future with a ‘profit’ the ownership of those properties was not for that reason.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Confirmation that the increase in figures on the balance sheet for Council Dwellings was following a revaluation of properties. There was a policy to purchase council properties back for repurpose which will also have contributed to that increase.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Planning had begun to undertake a revaluation of assets. Two new members of staff had been appointed to the valuation and estates team. That team had a large workload so the additional resource would be beneficial. It was hoped the revaluation work would be completed by the end of 2022. In the accountancy team there was a number of changes with staffing it was confirmed recruitment and appointment had taken place.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The Audit Wales annual audit plan was an important document to refer too when looking at the draft statements. There was reference to significant potential risks when completing the draft accounts, these were all reviewed and assessed by Audit Wales and to date no concerns had been found.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The wording in the ‘How we report our budget’ element of the report, could be reviewed to replace the work ‘unfortunately’.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>An agreement of audit timetable and deadlines between the authority and Denbighshire Leisure Limited had been agreed. To provide accounts to complete the overall statement of accounts for Denbighshire County Council. Any adjustments received from Audit Wales that can be made in the time frame are adjusted. Monthly meetings with Denbighshire Leisure Limited took place to discuss any issues and support the completion of the group accounts.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The valuation and estates team would approve any asset revaluations as qualified valuer. They would sign those values off. The finance team would complete a sense check of those valuations.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Welsh Government had provided two years of indicative settlement.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>The Head of Finance and Property stated he would provide members with detailed information on specific questions if required following the meeting. He encouraged members to contact him direct with questions.
The committee wanted to thank the Head of Finance and Property and the team for the vast amount of work that had gone into producing the draft statement of accounts. It was noted a significant effort had been made to produce and present the papers.
The Monitoring Officer confirmed an additional recommendation could be included to reflect the gratitude of members to the officers involved.
RESOLVED that members note the position as presented in the draft Statement of Accounts. Members also agreed for an additional recommendation to be included and read as; 3.2 The committee expressed their appreciation to the Head of Finance and Property and all staff involved in the preparation of the Draft Statement of Accounts.
- CGC Draft SofA July 2022, item 9. PDF 209 KB
- 2021-22 draft consolidated Statement of Accounts.signed by SG, item 9. PDF 3 MB