Council finances given auditors' approval
- Credit: North Somerset Council
North Somerset Council’s financial accounts for 2020/21 have been given a clean bill of health by its auditors.
Each year, the council produces its statement of accounts, which details how it spent money during the financial year, which is then assessed by independent auditors.
External auditor, Grant Thornton LLP, has given an ‘unqualified audit opinion’ for the financial statement of accounts.
Their audit approach was based on a thorough understanding of the council's business and is risk based, and in particular included an evaluation of the council's internal control environment, including its IT systems and controls; and substantive testing of significant transactions and material account balances, including procedures in relation to key audit risks.
They undertook detailed sample testing for Covid grants and other grant income found no discrepancies in the council's treatment of grant income and the accounting of this.
Cllr John Cato, chairman of the audit committee at the council, welcomed the news.
He said: "It’s great to be officially audited by an independent examiner for the financial statement of accounts and given an unqualified audit opinion.
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"Without high level support behind the plans and without good governance and good financial management, none of what has been achieved would have been possible.
"Covid-19 still has significant ongoing impact on working arrangements and that we are among the first of authorities audited by Grant Thornton to have received our annual financial audit assurance, which is a remarkable achievement.
"It is a testament of the work of our governance and our finance department. I would like to express my gratitude to the staff in our finance department for without them this audit opinion would not have been possible."
The audit committee is responsible for the corporate governance of the council, monitoring the operation of the constitution, accounts and audit, approving the statement of accounts, regulatory framework and monitoring the effective development and operation of risk management.
The committee’s remit also incorporates the internal audit programme, which changes each year.
Internal audits are carried out regularly at the council to ensure continuous review of internal controls and governance procedures.