Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 3
To be completed by Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and
other Smaller Authorities*:
where the higher of gross income or gross expenditure exceeded £25,000
but did not exceed £6.5 million; or
where the higher of gross income or gross expenditure was £25,000
or less but that:
are unable to certify themselves as exempt (fee payable); or
have requested a limited assurance review (fee payable)
Guidance notes on completing Part 3 of the Annual Governance and
Accountability Return 2019/20
1. Every smaller authority in England that either received gross income or incurred gross expenditure
exceeding £25,000 must complete Part 3 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return at
the end of each nancial year in accordance with Proper Practices.
2. The Annual Governance and Accountability Return is made up of three parts, pages 3 to 6:
The Annual Internal Audit Report is completed by the authority’s internal auditor.
• Sections 1 and 2 are to be completed and approved by the authority.
• Section 3 is completed by the external auditor and will be returned to the authority.
3. The authority must approve Section 1, Annual Governance Statement, before approving Section 2,
Accounting Statements, and both must be approved and published before 1 July 2020.
4. An authority with either gross income or gross expenditure exceeding £25,000 or an authority with
neither income nor expenditure exceeding £25,000, but which is unable to certify itself as exempt, or is
requesting a limited assurance review, must return to the external auditor by email or post (not both) no
later than 30 June 2020. Reminder letters will incur a charge of £40 +VAT:
• the Annual Governance and Accountability Return Sections 1 and 2, together with
• a bank reconciliation as at 31 March 2020
• an explanation of any signicant year on year variances in the accounting statements
• notication of the commencement date of the period for the exercise of public rights
Annual Internal Audit Report 2019/20
Unless requested, do not send any additional documents to your external auditor.
Your external auditor will
ask for any additional documents needed.
Once the external auditor has completed the limited assurance review and is able to give an opinion, the
Annual Governance and Accountability Section1, Section 2 and Section 3 – External Auditor Report
and Certicate will be returned to the authority by email or post.
Publication Requirements
Under the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, authorities must publish the following information on
a publicly accessible website:
Before 1 July 2020 authorities must publish:
Notice of the period for the exercise of public rights and a declaration that the accounting statements
are as yet unaudited;
Section 1 - Annual Governance Statement 2019/20, approved and signed, page 4
Section 2 - Accounting Statements 2019/20, approved and signed, page 5
Not later than 30 September 2020 authorities must publish:
Notice of conclusion of audit
Section 3 - External Auditor Report and Certicate
Sections 1 and 2 of AGAR including any amendments as a result of the limited assurance review.
It is recommended as best practice, to avoid any potential confusion by local electors and interested
parties, that you also publish the Annual Internal Audit Report, page 3.
Page 1 of 6Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 3
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 3 of the Annual Governance and
Accountability Return 2019/20
The authority must comply with Proper Practices in completing Sections 1 and 2 of this Annual Governance and
Accountability Return. 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 and the subsequent work by
the external auditor.
Make sure that the Annual Governance and Accountability Return is complete (no highlighted boxes left empty),
and is properly signed and dated. Where amendments are made by the authority to the AGAR after it has
been approved by the authority and before it has been reviewed by the external auditor, the Chairman and
RFO should initial the amendments and if necessary republish the amended AGAR and recommence the
period for the exercise of public rights. If the AGAR contains unapproved or unexplained amendments, it may
be returned and additional costs will be incurred.
The authority should receive and note the annual internal audit report if possible before approving the annual
governance statement and the accounts.
Use the checklist provided below to review the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for completeness
before returning it to the external auditor by email or post (not both) no later than 30 June 2020.
Do not send the external auditor any information not specically requested. However, you must inform your
external auditor about any change of Clerk, Responsible Financial Ofcer or Chairman, and provide
relevant email addresses and telephone numbers.
Make sure that the copy of the bank reconciliation to be sent to your external auditor with the Annual Governance
and Accountability Return covers all the bank accounts. If the authority holds any short-term investments, note their
value on the bank reconciliation. The external auditor must be able to agree the bank reconciliation to Box 8 on the
accounting statements (Section 2, page 5). An explanation must be provided of any difference between Box 7 and
Box 8. More help on bank reconciliation is available in the Practitioners’ Guide*.
Explain fully signicant variances in the accounting statements on page 5. Do not just send a copy of the detailed
accounting records instead of this explanation. The external auditor wants to know that you understand the reasons
for all variances. Include complete numerical and narrative analysis to support the full variance.
If the external auditor has to review unsolicited information, or receives an incomplete bank reconciliation, or
variances are not fully explained, additional costs may be incurred.
Make sure that the accounting statements add up and that 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 period 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 it 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.
Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 3
Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and other Smaller Authorities*
Completion 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 have been completed?
For any statement to which the response is ‘no’, has an explanation been published?
Has an explanation of signicant variations from last year to this year been published?
Has the bank reconciliation as at 31 March 2020 been reconciled to Box 8?
Has an explanation of any difference between Box 7 and Box 8 been provided?
Have all highlighted boxes been completed by the internal auditor and explanations provided?
Has all additional information requested, including the dates set for the period
for the exercise of public rights, been provided for the external auditor?
Trust funds – have all disclosures been made if the authority as a body corporate is a
sole managing trustee? NB: do not send trust accounting statements unless requested.
Has the authority’s approval of the accounting statements been conrmed by
the signature of the Chairman of the approval meeting?
Yes No
*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
Page 6 of 6
Section 3 – External Auditor Report and Certicate 2019/20
ENTER NAME OF AUTHORITY
ENTER NAME OF EXTERNAL AUDITOR
1 Respective responsibilities of the body and the auditor
This authority is responsible for ensuring that its nancial management is adequate and effective and that
it has a sound system of internal control. The authority prepares an Annual Governance and Accountability
Return in accordance with Proper Practices which:
summarises the accounting records for the year ended 31 March 2020; and
conrms and provides assurance on those matters that are relevant to our duties and responsibilities as
external auditors.
Our responsibility is to review Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return in accordance
with guidance issued by the National Audit Ofce (NAO) on behalf of the Comptroller and Auditor General
(see note below). Our work does not constitute an audit carried out in accordance with International Standards
on Auditing (UK & Ireland) and does not provide the same level of assurance that such an audit would do.
2 External auditor report 2019/20
*Note: the NAO issued guidance applicable to external auditors’ work on limited assurance reviews in Auditor
Guidance Note AGN/02. The AGN is available from the NAO website (www.nao.org.uk)
DD/MM/YYSIGNATURE REQUIRED
Date
External Auditor Name
(Except for the matters reported below)* on the basis of our review of Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return, in
our opinion the information in Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return is in accordance with Proper Practices and
no other matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.
(*delete as appropriate).
Other matters not affecting our opinion which we draw to the attention of the authority:
*We do not certify completion because:
(continue on a separate sheet if required)
(continue on a separate sheet if required)
3 External auditor certicate 2019/20
We certify/do not certify* that we have completed our review of Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and
Accountability Return, and discharged our responsibilities under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, for
the year ended 31 March 2020.
External Auditor Signature
Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2019/20 Part 3
Local Councils, Internal Drainage Boards and other Smaller Authorities*
In respect of
Royal Sutton Coldfield Town Council
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