Issue - meetings

UPDATE ON THE AUDIT OF THE 2019/20 AND 2020/21 STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS AND PENSION FUND AND PROGRESS ON THE 2021/22 COUNCIL'S ACCOUNTS

Meeting: 19/01/2023 - General Purposes Committee (Item 4.)

4. Update on the Audit of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Statement of Accounts and Pension Fund and Progress on the 2021/22 Council's Accounts - including BDO (External Auditor) Report on Statement of Accounts

For the Committee to receive a verbal update on the Audit of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Statement of Accounts and Pension Fund and progress on the 2021/22 Council's Accounts.  An update will also be provided by the Council’s External Auditors, BDO.


Meeting: 01/12/2022 - General Purposes Committee (Item 6)

6 UPDATE ON THE AUDIT OF THE 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS AND PENSION FUND pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Following the publication of the draft 2021/22 Statement of Accounts (including Pension Fund), the report provided an update on the audit status of each year of open, unaudited accounts for the three financial years 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22.

At the request of the Committee, the representatives from the External Auditor undertook to provide an update on the sector-wide infrastructure assets issue, which remained open whilst CIPFA continued to work on a solution, in January 2023.

AGREED that:

1.  The information provided within the report of Officers on the progress of audit of LBE’s open sets of accounts since the October meeting of the General Purposes Committee be NOTED;

 

2.  The current accumulated backlog of three years of open, unaudited statement of accounts be NOTED; and

 

3.  At the submission point of the report, the External Auditor, BDO who had intended to have finalised the audit of the 2019/20 statement of accounts in time for the meeting, barring the sector-wide infrastructure assets had not done so be NOTED.

 


Meeting: 20/10/2022 - General Purposes Committee (Item 8)

8 Update on the Audit of the 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22 Statement of Accounts and Pension Fund pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Following the publication of the draft 2021/22 Statement of Accounts (including Pension Fund) the report provides an update on the audit status for each year of open unaudited accounts for the three financial years 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22.

 

Minutes:

Members of the Committee welcomed the representatives of the Council’s External Auditors, BDO, Lisa Blake and David Eagles, who had attended the meeting together with officers, to provide an update on the unaudited accounts for the three financial years 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22.

 

Officers provided an update on the audit status for each year of open unaudited accounts for the three financial years 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22 (including Pension Fund) together with a position statement with regards to the situation with the Council’s external auditor, BDO.

 

At the invitation of the Chair and for the benefit of the committee, the BDO representatives gave additional context to the previous two and a half years, summarised the current position and explained their plan to ensure that the unaudited accounts were signed off.

 

The Committee noted the reasons why the accounts for the last three years had not been signed-off and the events leading up to the current position.

 

Members of the committee expressed their dissatisfaction with the overall performance of BDO, which was considered to be totally unacceptable, and BDO’s inability to progress sign-off of the accounts as stipulated in the current contract. Members insisted that BDO provide a clear timetable and end-date as to when the accounts would be signed off, barring the sector-wide infrastructure assets issue which had been fully explained to the committee in reports at previous meetings. Members noted that it was hoped the infrastructure issue would be concluded before the end of the 2022 calendar year or very early in the new year. 

 

Members were deeply concerned regarding the reputational risks to the Council. Members could not understand why there was a further delay when BDO had indicated that they hoped that an audited set of accounts, infrastructure assets aside, would be brought to the committee meeting. Members also expressed their dissatisfaction with the contractual arrangements with the Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (PSAA), which allowed for continual shift and prevented the sign-off of the accounts.

 

Officers reported that all the information necessary for the audit to continue through the due process had been supplied to BDO and Council staff were on standby and ready to respond to any further requests for information from BDO.  It appeared to members that there were problems being experienced by BDO in providing sufficient resource to continue with the audit and that BDO appeared to prioritise audits for other organisations, namely the NHS, over and above Enfield.

 

The representatives from BDO explained that it had been very difficult to reschedule the work due to the resources available, although some additional resource had been supplied by BDO. The representative also confirmed that BDO would not be paid until the audits were complete. The Audit Partner, David Eagles, responsible for the 2019/20 audit, explained that he was booked in on 1 November 2022 to work on Enfield’s 2019/20 audit, and hoped that 2019/20 accounts audit would be finalised, infrastructure assets aside, for the next GPC meeting on 1 December 2022. Lisa Blake,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8