To consider the external auditor’s progress report.
The committee considered the external auditor’s progress report. Maria Grindley of Ernst & Young, the council’s external auditor, reported that since September 2012, she had tested some of the council’s control mechanisms and was conducting a value for money assessment. Work would start in the summer to certify the council’s grant claims from the government and audit the council’s statement of accounts. As the council would not be introducing a fixed asset system before compiling the 2012/13 accounts, this would not be included in this year’s audit work. However, work had commenced on auditing the fixed asset adjustments.
The committee noted that although the external auditor used to have a statutory responsibility to conduct benchmarking of councils through comprehensive performance assessment, this was no longer required. The external auditor’s role was now to audit the council’s financial arrangements. However, the auditor also had a duty to alert the council to any issues or suggest good practice from other councils.
Following a suggestion from the committee, the strategic director agreed to consider consulting on the public’s comprehension of council financial information such as the statement of accounts and budget.
(a) note the external auditor’s progress report; and
(b) request the strategic director to consider consulting on the public’s comprehension of council financial information.