The Finance Specialist (Deputy Section 151 Officer) presented a report relating to the Council’s Accounting Policies. She informed Members that the policies were used for the preparation off the 2020/21 statement of accounts and had been prepared in line with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) code of practice on local authority accounting.
The Finance Specialist (Deputy Section 151 Officer) highlighted that following the announcement of the delay in applying the lease accounting standard there were only minor changes to the previous year’s accounting policies. She informed Members of the changes to the policies, including the inclusion of a paragraph laying out rounding and credit balance conventions that were in line with best practice. In running through the other changes in the policies, the Finance Specialist referred to the removal of the residual arrangements paragraph for employee benefits as the obligations for addition pensions schemes had ended; the revenue grants contributions section, which had made reference to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) grants; and the Property Plant and Equipment section which recognised that the Council componentise assets in line with best practice.
The Finance Specialist (Deputy Section 151 Officer) informed Members that the accounting policies had not departed from the CIPFA Code of Practice and that they were representative of good practice.
It was good practice to consider and adopt the accounting policies in advance of the production and approval of the draft accounts. The Finance Specialist (Deputy Section 151 Officer) informed Members that the Council’s Audit Arrangement regulation amendments had the deadlines pushed back to 31 July 2021 and 30 September 2021 but that Officers were aiming to conclude this work by 31 May 2021 so that the Audit Committee can move forwards at the next committee meeting.
Members having raised concern, the Finance Specialist highlighted that the section relating to the cost of support services had been removed as it was no longer relevant. In responding to an additional question relating to the impact of the pandemic on the cost of planned works, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) informed Members that the cost of contracts and tender values had increased due to the impact of Covid.
No Member having raised any concern it was
RESOLVED – That the accounting policies at appendix 1 for the 2020/21 financial year be approved, to be used in the preparation of the Statement of Accounts for the financial year ending 31 March 2021.