Local government bodies generally prepared good quality financial statements on time.
The Auditor General has today released his fifth report on local government body accounts. The report looks at how effective audited bodies (from unitary authorities to national parks) have been in the preparation of their accounts for audit at the end of the year.
The Auditor General, Huw Vaughan Thomas, said today: Despite the issues with material amendments, I was able to issue unqualified opinions for all bodies’ accounting statements. However, I would encourage local authorities to look closely at their arrangements and plans for the future, as the need to deliver more accurate accounts, earlier, will be of fundamental importance.
The report highlights that despite all accounts being prepared and audited to the statutory deadlines, the number of bodies where the accounts had to be amended for material items increased once again this year. Auditors also reported concerns to a few bodies about the standard of working papers and information to support accounts.
Apart from bringing into question the ‘quality of accounts production and review arrangements’ these findings also mean that most bodies are not yet well placed to deliver on the proposed earlier deadlines for the closure of accounts.
The report concludes that no accounts were qualified this year, although one whole of government accounts return was qualified.