Finance and Risk
The Local Audit & Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts & Audit Regulations 2015 set out the responsibilities of all local councils in respect of their accounting and auditing procedures.
Each year the Council’s financial accounts and statements must be examined by an independent internal auditor appointed by the Council.
The Council is also required to complete an Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) which includes the findings of the Internal Auditor, together with Governance Statements and Financial Statements.
The AGAR is then submitted to the independent external auditor appointed by the Audit Commission for examination.
Smaller authorities where the higher of all gross annual income or gross annual expenditure does not exceed £25000 and that meet the qualifying criteria as set out in the Certificate of Exemption are able to declare themselves exempt from sending the AGAR to the external auditor.
A parish council must ensure that its financial, operational and risk management is effective (Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234), reg 3) and its risk management scheme must cover a range of risks to public money and related to council property, activities and any employees.