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The annual publication and independent external audit of the Statement of Accounts is an important part of demonstrating how the Council uses public money. There are a number of documents that are relevant to the production and audit of the Annual Accounts detailed below.
In accordance with statutory deadlines, revised in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council produced a draft Statement of Accounts for 2019/20 on 14 August 2020. The document was then made available for public inspection for the period 17 August to 28 September 2020 and the external audit of the Statement commenced.
By way of Regulation, the Council is required to approve and publish its 2019-2020 accounts by 30 November 2020, or as soon as reasonably practicable after the receipt of the auditor’s final findings. The statement will not be approved by 30 November, due to ongoing work that the external auditor is undertaking, that will not be completed by that date (see Related Documents for the relevant Public Notice). It is anticipated that the Statement will be approved by the Audit and Governance Committee at a meeting in January 2021. The external auditor has produced a draft Audit Findings Report, setting out a draft audit opinion, which can be found under Related Documents.
At the end of every financial year, for a specific period the accounts of St Helens Council are available to the public for inspection and/or copying. The public may also exercise their right to question the External Auditor on matters contained within the Statement of Accounts.
The draft Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020 will be available for inspection between 17 August 2020 and 28 September 2020 inclusive.
At the end of every financial year the Council is required to produce an Annual Statement of Accounts that sets out the financial position of the Authority for that period.
The accounts are prepared in accordance with all relevant prescribed guidance, Codes of Practice and Reporting Standards. Each account contains an explanatory note covering the purpose of the account and more detailed notes explaining key items.
The Statement of Accounts can be found under Related Documents.
The Council's external auditors are required to give an opinion on whether the financial statements present fairly the financial position of the Council, including income and expenditure for the year. This report also concludes whether the Auditors are satisfied that the council has proper arrangements in place for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of its resources.
This report can be found under Related Documents.
The Council's external auditors produce an annual letter for members summarising their conclusions from reviews undertaken during the year and the audit of the Statement of Accounts.
In accordance with requirements, an Audit Completion Notice is published and a copy can be found under Related Documents.
In accordance with the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, St Helens Council confirms that it has appointed Grant Thornton as its Auditor, for the period 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2023, following advice regarding the selection and appointment received from the Public Sector Audit Appointments organisation.
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