The Report on the Results of Auditors’ Work 2020-21 has been released by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments (SAAA).
This is the fourth report of its kind which will offer members a summary of the results of auditors’ work at smaller authorities from 1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021.
As most of you will know smaller authorities with income or expenditure of £25,000 or less and who meet other eligibility criteria, can certify themselves exempt from a limited assurance review (LAR).
According to the report from SAAA, 5,110 smaller authorities (52 per cent of all smaller authorities at the time), successfully declared themselves exempt from a limited assurance review by the external auditor in the 2020-21 financial year. This left 4,698 authorities requiring a review.
SAAA has expressed their hope that ‘2021-22 will see significant improvements in the figures and more communities will hold their local council, parish meeting, and internal drainage board to account’.
Michael Attenborough-Cox, Chairman of SAAA says, “It is a concern that the number of Public Interest Reports (PIR’s) issued continues to grow year on year. Of the 139 issued over the last four years 126 were for the failure to submit an Annual Accountability Return or a Certificate of Exemption. Unfortunately these authorities were also faced with an invoice for a minimum of £240 which could have been avoided”.