To receive the External Audit Findings Report from Grant Thornton (to follow).
It is recommended that the Audit Committee notes the External Audit Findings Report.
Laurelin Griffiths, Grant Thornton Audit Manager, presented the External Audit Findings Report to the Committee. She explained that the audit work had started later in the year than anticipated due to a change in the audit team that had been necessary in order to ensure the independence and integrity of the audit. She thanked staff in the Council’s finance team for their hard work and assistance in meeting the tighter than usual timeframes.
Almost all of the audit work was complete, with testing on property valuations being the only major piece of work now outstanding. There had been no changes required to the audit plan which had been revived by the Committee at its March meeting. Laurelin also advised the Committee that Grant Thornton was proposing to issue an unqualified Value for Money conclusion.
The Committee was disappointed not to have a final report, but acknowledged the challenges that had arisen due to the late change of audit team. Laurelin confirmed that there had been no other issues which would have affected the team achieving the 31 July deadline. The Chairman asked when the work on property valuation was likely to be completed. Laurelin responded that she hoped this would be finalised by the end of the week (26 July).
One adjustment to the accounts had been required in relation to net pension liability, however Laurelin clarified that this was as a result of a national issue, not specific to Waverley. As a result of this matter, the Council had requested that its actuary carry out further work and officers had reviewed the findings to ensure that there was no impact on the integrity of the accounts.
In relation to the follow up on recommendations for the previous year’s audit, Cllr Cole sought confirmation that the auditors were now content with the measures that were in place regarding sundry debtors. Laurelin advised the Committee that she was satisfied that management had remedied any issues from the previous year.
Graeme Clark, Strategic Director, thanked Laurelin and her team at Grant Thornton for all their efforts at short notice.
The Committee RESOLVED to note the External Audit Findings Report.