Page 2 of 6
*More guidance on completing this annual return is available in Governance and Accountability for Smaller Authorities
in England – a Practitioners’ Guide to Proper Practices, which can be downloaded from www.nalc.gov.uk or from
www.slcc.co.uk or from www.ada.org.uk
Guidance notes on completing Part 3 of the Annual Governance and
Accountability Return 2017/18
• 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 (i.e. no empty highlighted boxes),
and is properly signed and dated. Avoid making amendments to the completed Annual Governance and
Accountability Return. Any amendments must be approved by the authority, properly initialled and accompanied
by an explanation. If the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 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 prior to approving the annual governance
statement and before approving the accounts.
• Use the checklist provided below to review the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for completeness
before sending it to the external auditor.
• Do not send the external auditor any information not specically requested. However, you must inform your
external auditor about any change of Clerk, Responsible Finance Ofcer 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 (Section2,page5). 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 signicant 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 explanation.
• If the external auditor has to review unsolicited information, or receives an incomplete bank reconciliation, or
variances are not fully explained, additional costs will be incurred.
• Make sure that the accounting statements add up and that the balance carried forward from the previous year
(Box 7 of 2017) equals the balance brought forward in the current year (Box 1 of 2018).
• Please enter the authority’s name only in Section 3 on Page 6. Do not complete the remainder of that section,
which is reserved for the external auditor.
• The Responsible Financial Ofcer (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
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.
Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2017/18 Part 3
Completionchecklist– ‘No’ answers mean you may not have met requirements
Sections 1 and 2
Internal Audit Report
Have all highlighted boxes have been completed?
For any statement to which the response is ‘no’, is an explanation provided?
Has an explanation of signicant variations from last year to this year been provided?
The bank reconciliation as at 31 March 2018 is agreed to Box 8?
Has an explanation of any difference between Box 7 and Box 8 been provided?
Have all highlighted boxes have 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 is a sole managing
trustee? NB: do not send trust accounting statements unless requested or instructed.
Has the authority’s approval of the accounting statements been conrmed by
the signature of the Chairman of the approval meeting?