Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 2
To be completed only by Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards
and other smaller authorities* where the higher of gross income
or gross expenditure was £25,000 or less, that meet the qualifying
criteria, and that wish to certify themselves as exempt from a limited
assurance review
Guidance notes on completing Part 2 of the Annual Governance and
Accountability Return 2019/20
1. Every smaller authority in England where the higher of gross income or gross expenditure was £25,000
or less must, following the end of each nancial year, complete Part 2 of the Annual Governance and
Accountability Return in accordance with Proper Practices, unless the authority:
a) does not meet the qualifying criteria for exemption; or
b) does not wish to certify itself as exempt
2. Smaller authorities where the higher of all gross annual income or gross annual expenditure does not
exceed £25,000 and that meet the qualifying criteria as set out in the Certicate of Exemption are able
to declare themselves exempt from sending the completed Annual Governance and Accountability
Return to the external auditor for a limited assurance review provided the authority completes:
a) The Certicate of Exemption, page 3 and returns a copy of it to the external auditor either by email
or by post (not both) no later than 30 June 2020. Failure to do so will result in reminder letter(s) for
which the Authority will be charged £40 +VAT for each letter; and
b) The Annual Governance and Accountability Return (Part 2) which is made up of:
Annual Internal Audit Report (page 4) to be completed by the authority’s internal auditor.
• Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement (page 5) to be completed and approved by the authority.
• Section 2 – Accounting Statements (page 6) to be completed and approved by the authority.
NOTE: Authorities certifying themselves as exempt SHOULD NOT send the completed Annual
Governance and Accountability Return to the external auditor.
3. The authority must approve Section 1 Annual Governance Statement before approving Section 2
Accounting Statements and both must be approved and published on a website before 1 July 2020.
Publication Requirements
Smaller authorities must publish various documents on a public website as required by the Accounts and
Audit Regulations 2015, the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015 and the Transparency Code
for Smaller Authorities. These include:
Certicate of Exemption, page 3
Annual Internal Audit Report 2019/20, page 4
Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2019/20, page 5
Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2019/20, page 6
Analysis of variances
Bank reconciliation
Notice of the period for the exercise of public rights and other information required by Regulation 15 (2),
Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.
Limited Assurance Review
Providing the authority certies itself as exempt, and completes and publishes the Annual Governance
and Accountability Return, there is no requirement for the authority to have a limited assurance review.
Any smaller authority may, however, request a limited assurance review. In these circumstances the authority
should not certify itself as exempt, and not complete the Certicate of Exemption, but complete Part 3
of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 and return it to the external auditor for review
together with the supporting documentation requested by the external auditor.
The cost to the smaller authority for the review will be £200 +VAT.
Page 1 of 6Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 2
Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and other Smaller Authorities
The Annual Governance and Accountability Return constitutes the annual return referred to in the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.
Throughout, the words ‘external auditor’ have the same meaning as the words ‘local auditor’ in the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.
*for a complete list of bodies that may be smaller authorities refer to schedule 2 to the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.
Page 2 of 6
Guidance notes on completing Part 2 of the Annual Governance and
Accountability Return 2019/20, Sections 1 and 2
An authority that wishes to declare itself exempt from the requirement for a limited assurance review must
do so at a meeting of the authority after 31 March 2020. It should not submit its Annual Governance and
Accountability Return to the external auditor. However, as part of a more proportionate regime, the authority
must comply with the requirements of the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities.
The Certicate of Exemption must be returned to the external auditor no later than 30 June 2020. Reminder
letters will incur a charge of £40 +VAT for each letter.
The authority must comply with Proper Practices in completing Sections 1 and 2 of this Annual Governance
and Accountability Return and the Certicate of Exemption. Proper Practices are found in the Practitioners’
Guide* which is updated from time to time and contains everything needed to prepare successfully for the
nancial year-end.
The authority should receive and note the annual internal audit report if possible before approving the
annual governance statement and the accounts.
Make sure that the Annual Governance and Accountability Return is complete (no highlighted boxes left
empty), and is properly signed and dated. Avoid making amendments to the completed annual return. Any
amendments must be approved by the authority and properly initialled.
Use the checklist provided below to review the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for
completeness at the meeting at which it is signed off.
You should inform your external auditor about any change of Clerk, Responsible Financial Ofcer or
Chairman, and provide relevant email addresses and telephone numbers.
The authority must publish numerical and narrative explanations for signicant variances in the accounting
statements on page 6. Guidance is provided in the Practitioners’ Guide* which may assist.
Make sure that the accounting statements add up and the balance carried forward from the previous year
(Box 7 of 2019) equals the balance brought forward in the current year (Box 1 of 2020).
The Responsible Financial Ofcer (RFO), on behalf of the authority, must set the commencement date for
the exercise of public rights. From the commencement date for a single period of 30 consecutive working
days, the approved accounts and accounting records can be inspected. Whatever period the RFO sets
must include a common inspection period – during which the accounts and accounting records of all
smaller authorities must be available for public inspection – of the rst ten working days of July.
The authority must publish the information required by Regulation 15 (2), Accounts and Audit
Regulations 2015, including the period for the exercise of public rights and the name and address
of the external auditor before 1 July 2020.
Yes NoCompletion checklist – ‘No’ answers mean you may not have met requirements
All sections
Section 1
Section 2
Sections 1 and 2
Internal Audit Report
Have all highlighted boxes been completed?
For any statement to which the response is ‘no’, is an explanation available
for publication?
Has an explanation of signicant variations from last year to this year been
published?
Is an explanation of any difference between Box 7 and Box 8 available, should
a question be raised by a local elector and/or an interested party?
Have all highlighted boxes been completed by the internal auditor and
explanations provided?
Have the dates set for the period for the exercise of public rights been published?
Has the authority’s approval of the accounting statements been conrmed by
the signature of the Chairman of the approval meeting?
Trust funds – have all disclosures been made if the authority as a body corporate
is a sole managing trustee? (Local Councils only)
*Governance and Accountability for Smaller Authorities in England – a Practitioners’ Guide to Proper Practices,
can be downloaded from www.nalc.gov.uk or from www.ada.org.uk
Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 2
Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and other Smaller Authorities
Certicate of Exemption – AGAR 2019/20 Part 2
To be completed by smaller authorities where the higher of gross income or gross
expenditure did not exceed £25,000 in the year of account ended 31 March 2020,
and that wish to certify themselves as exempt from a limited assurance review
under Section 9 of the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015
There is no requirement to have a limited assurance review or to submit an Annual Governance and Accountability
Return to the external auditor, provided that the authority has certied itself as exempt at a meeting of the
authority after 31 March 2020 and a completed Certicate of Exemption is submitted no later than 30 June 2020
notifying the external auditor.
certies that during the nancial year 2019/20, the higher of the authority’s total gross income for the year or
total gross annual expenditure, for the year did not exceed £25,000
Total annual gross income for the authority 2019/20:
Total annual gross expenditure for the authority 2019/20:
There are certain circumstances in which an authority will be unable to certify itself as exempt, so that a limited
assurance review will still be required. If an authority is unable to conrm the statements below then it
cannot certify itself as exempt and it must submit the completed Annual Governance and Accountability Return
Part 3 to the external auditor to undertake a limited assurance review for which a fee of £200 +VAT will be payable.
By signing this Certicate of Exemption you are conrming that:
The authority was in existence on 1st April 2016
In relation to the preceding nancial year (2018/19), the external auditor has not:
issued a public interest report in respect of the authority or any entity connected with it
made a statutory recommendation to the authority, relating to the authority or any entity connected with it
issued an advisory notice under paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 8 to the Local Audit and Accountability Act
2014 (“the Act”), and has not withdrawn the notice
commenced judicial review proceedings under section 31(1) of the Act
made an application under section 28(1) of the Act for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful,
and the application has not been withdrawn nor has the court refused to make the declaration
The court has not declared an item of account unlawful after a person made an appeal under section 28(3) of the Act.
If you are able to conrm that the above statements apply and that the authority neither received gross income,
nor incurred gross expenditure, exceeding £25,000, then the Certicate of Exemption can be signed and a copy
submitted to the external auditor either by email or by post (not both).
The Annual Internal Audit Report, Annual Governance Statement, Accounting Statements, an analysis of
variances and the bank reconciliation plus the information required by Regulation 15 (2), Accounts and Audit
Regulations 2015 including the period for the exercise of public rights still need to be fully completed and, along
with a copy of this certicate, published on a public website* before 1 July 2020. By signing this certicate you
are also conrming that you are aware of this requirement.
Page 3 of 6
ENTER NAME OF AUTHORITY
ENTER AMOUNT £00,000
ENTER AMOUNT £00,000
Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 2
Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and other Smaller Authorities
ONLY this Certicate of Exemption should be returned EITHER by email OR by post (not
both) as soon as possible after certication to your external auditor, but no later than 30
June 2020. Reminder letters incur a charge of £40 +VAT
Telephone number
TELEPHONE NUMBER
AUTHORITY EMAIL ADDRESS REQUIRED
Email of Authority
PUBLISHED WEBSITE ADDRESS
*Published web address
Signed by the Responsible Financial Ofcer
SIGNATURE REQUIRED
DD/MM/YYYY DD/MM/YYYY
Date
DD/MM/YYYY
Date
SIGNATURE REQUIRED
Signed by Chairman
I conrm that this Certicate of
Exemption was approved by this
authority on this date:
as recorded in minute reference:
MINUTE REFERENCE
ASHMANSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
£4,474
£4,379
clerk@ashmansworth-pc.gov.uk
01635 254492
This authority’s internal auditor, acting independently and on the basis of an assessment of risk,
carried out a selective assessment of compliance with relevant procedures and controls to be in
operation during the nancial year ended 31 March 2020.
The internal audit for 2019/20 has been carried out in accordance with this authority’s needs
and planned coverage. On the basis of the ndings in the areas examined, the internal audit
conclusions are summarised in this table. Set out below are the objectives of internal control
and alongside are the internal audit conclusions on whether, in all signicant respects, the control
objectives were being achieved throughout the nancial year to a standard adequate to meet the
needs of this authority.
Annual Internal Audit Report 2019/20
ENTER NAME OF AUTHORITY
A. Appropriate accounting records have been properly kept throughout the nancial year.
B. This authority complied with its nancial regulations, payments were supported by invoices, all
expenditure was approved and VAT was appropriately accounted for.
C. This authority assessed the signicant risks to achieving its objectives and reviewed the adequacy
of arrangements to manage these.
D. The precept or rates requirement resulted from an adequate budgetary process; progress against
the budget was regularly monitored; and reserves were appropriate.
E. Expected income was fully received, based on correct prices, properly recorded and promptly
banked; and VAT was appropriately accounted for.
F. Petty cash payments were properly supported by receipts, all petty cash expenditure was
approved and VAT appropriately accounted for.
G. Salaries to employees and allowances to members were paid in accordance with this authority’s
approvals, and PAYE and NI requirements were properly applied.
J. Accounting statements prepared during the year were prepared on the correct accounting basis
(receipts and payments or income and expenditure), agreed to the cash book, supported by an
adequate audit trail from underlying records and where appropriate debtors and creditors were
properly recorded.
H. Asset and investments registers were complete and accurate and properly maintained.
I. Periodic and year-end bank account reconciliations were properly carried out.
K.
If the authority certied itself as exempt from a limited assurance review in 2018/19, it met the
exemption criteria and correctly declared itself exempt. (If the authority had a limited assurance
review of its 2018/19 AGAR tick “not covered”)
Yes No*
Agreed? Please choose
one of the following
Internal control objective
Not
covered**
Page 4 of 6Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 2
Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and other Smaller Authorities
*If the response is ‘no’ please state the implications and action being taken to address any weakness in control identied
(add separate sheets if needed).
**Note: If the response is ‘not covered’ please state when the most recent internal audit work was done in this area and when it is
next planned; or, if coverage is not required, the annual internal audit report must explain why not (add separate sheets if needed).
L.
The authority has demonstrated that during summer 2019 it correctly provided for the exercise
of public rights as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations.
For any other risk areas identied by this authority adequate controls existed (list any other risk areas on separate sheets if needed).
DD/MM/YYYYSIGNATURE REQUIRED
Date
Signature of person who
carried out the internal audit
DD/MM/YYYY DD/MM/YYYYDD/MM/YYYY
Name of person who carried out the internal auditDate(s) internal audit undertaken
ENTER NAME OF INTERNAL AUDITOR
M. (For local councils only)
Trust funds (including charitable) – The council met its responsibilities as a trustee.
Yes No Not applicable
ASHMANSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2019/20
We acknowledge as the members of:
ENTER NAME OF AUTHORITY
our responsibility for ensuring that there is a sound system of internal control, including arrangements for
the preparation of the Accounting Statements. We conrm, to the best of our knowledge and belief, with
respect to the Accounting Statements for the year ended 31 March 2020, that:
Page 5 of 6
1. We have put in place arrangements for effective nancial
management during the year, and for the preparation of
the accounting statements.
2. We maintained an adequate system of internal control
including measures designed to prevent and detect fraud
and corruption and reviewed its effectiveness.
4. We provided proper opportunity during the year for
the exercise of electors’ rights in accordance with the
requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations.
5. We carried out an assessment of the risks facing this
authority and took appropriate steps to manage those
risks, including the introduction of internal controls and/or
external insurance cover where required.
6. We maintained throughout the year an adequate and
effective system of internal audit of the accounting
records and control systems.
7. We took appropriate action on all matters raised
in reports from internal and external audit.
8. We considered whether any litigation, liabilities or
commitments, events or transactions, occurring either
during or after the year-end, have a nancial impact on
this authority and, where appropriate, have included them
in the accounting statements.
9. (For local councils only) Trust funds including
charitable. In our capacity as the sole managing
trustee we discharged our accountability
responsibilities for the fund(s)/assets, including
nancial reporting and, if required, independent
examination or audit.
3. We took all reasonable steps to assure ourselves
that there are no matters of actual or potential
non-compliance with laws, regulations and Proper
Practices that could have a signicant nancial effect
on the ability of this authority to conduct its
business or manage its nances.
prepared its accounting statements in accordance
with the Accounts and Audit Regulations.
‘Yes’ means that this authority:Yes No
Agreed
made proper arrangements and accepted responsibility
for safeguarding the public money and resources in
its charge.
has only done what it has the legal power to do and has
complied with Proper Practices in doing so.
during the year gave all persons interested the opportunity to
inspect and ask questions about this authority’s accounts.
considered and documented the nancial and other risks it
faces and dealt with them properly.
arranged for a competent person, independent of the nancial
controls and procedures, to give an objective view on whether
internal controls meet the needs of this smaller authority.
responded to matters brought to its attention by internal and
external audit.
disclosed everything it should have about its business activity
during the year including events taking place after the year
end if relevant.
has met all of its responsibilities where as a body
corporate it is a sole managing trustee of a local trust
or trusts.
Yes No N/A
Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 2
Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and other Smaller Authorities
Signed by the Chairman and Clerk of the meeting where
approval was given:
Chairman
Clerk
SIGNATURE REQUIRED
SIGNATURE REQUIRED
This Annual Governance Statement was approved at a
meeting of the authority on:
and recorded as minute reference:
MINUTE REFERENCE
DD/MM/YYYY
*For any statement to which the response is ‘no’, an explanation must be published
ASHMANSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2019/20 for
ENTER NAME OF AUTHORITY
Page 6 of 6Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 2
Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and other Smaller Authorities
I certify that for the year ended 31 March 2020 the Accounting
Statements in this Annual Governance and Accountability
Return have been prepared on either a receipts and
payments or income and expenditure basis following the
guidance in Governance and Accountability for Smaller
Authorities – a Practitioners’ Guide to Proper Practices
and present fairly the nancial position of this authority.
I conrm that these Accounting Statements were
approved by this authority on this date:
Signed by Chairman of the meeting where the
Accounting Statements were approved
Signed by Responsible Financial Ofcer before being
presented to the authority for approval
as recorded in minute reference:
MINUTE REFERENCE
DD/MM/YYYY
DD/MM/YYYY
SIGNATURE REQUIRED
SIGNATURE REQUIRED
Date
8. Total value of cash and
short term investments
9. Total xed assets plus
long term investments
and assets
10. Total borrowings
The sum of all current and deposit bank accounts, cash
holdings and short term investments held as at 31 March –
To agree with bank reconciliation.
The value of all the property the authority owns – it is made
up of all its xed assets and long term investments as at
31 March.
The outstanding capital balance as at 31 March of all loans
from third parties (including PWLB).
11. (For Local Councils Only) Disclosure note
re Trust funds (including charitable)
The Council as a body corporate acts as sole trustee for
and is responsible for managing Trust funds or assets.
N.B. The gures in the accounting statements above do
not include any Trust transactions.
Yes
No
1. Balances brought
forward
2. (+) Precept or Rates and
Levies
4. (-) Staff costs
5. (-) Loan interest/capital
repayments
6. (-) All other payments
7. (=) Balances carried
forward
3. (+) Total other receipts
Total balances and reserves at the beginning of the year
as recorded in the nancial records. Value must agree to
Box 7 of previous year.
Please round all gures to nearest £1. Do not leave any
boxes blank and report £0 or Nil balances. All gures must
agree to underlying nancial records.
Notes and guidanceYear ending
31 March
2019
£
31 March
2020
£
Total amount of precept (or for IDBs rates and levies)
received or receivable in the year. Exclude any grants
received.
Total income or receipts as recorded in the cashbook less
the precept or rates/levies received (line 2). Include any
grants received.
Total expenditure or payments made to and on behalf
of all employees. Include gross salaries and wages,
employers NI contributions, employers pension
contributions, gratuities and severance payments.
Total expenditure or payments of capital and interest
made during the year on the authority’s borrowings (if any).
Total expenditure or payments as recorded in the cash-
book less staff costs (line 4) and loan interest/capital
repayments (line 5).
Total balances and reserves at the end of the year. Must
equal (1+2+3) - (4+5+6).
ASHMANSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
4,465
5,301
4,123
4,123
1,951
351
1,890
1,746
0
0
3,348
2,633
5,301
5,396
5,301
5,396
3,989
3,989
0
0
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