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Failure to contact external auditor

Published 27th July 2018

The external auditors have reported that a substantial number of parish councils have made no contact with them regarding accounts for 2017/18. All councils should have sent something to their external auditor: either Sections 1 and 2 of an Annual Governance and Accountability Return ('AGAR') with supporting documents or (if they are eligible to certify themselves as exempt from external audit and decide to do so) a Certificate of Exemption. Failure to send anything to the external auditor will result in at best a 'chasing' letter (for which the auditor will charge the council £40) and at worst a Public Interest Report which will mean the council cannot certify as exempt next year. Any council which is unsure who their external auditors are can find this information at www.localaudits.co.uk

Some councils have sent their external auditors both an AGAR and a Certificate of Exemption. Please do not do this. If a council is eligible to certify as exempt, and does so, the Certificate of Exemption should be the only document sent to the external auditor. A council which certifies as exempt (and any other 'under-£25,000' council) must still comply with the publication requirements of the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities.'

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