Budget book and statement of accounts
Our current budget book, statement of accounts and reports from our external auditors.
Budget Book 2023/24
The budget book provides an overview of the council's revenue budget for 2023-2024 and capital programme 2022/23-2027/28. It also provides information in respect of the council's reserves, fees and charges.
You can find the budget books from previous years on our annual budget books page.
Delay to the publication of the council's Statement of Accounts 2021/22 and 2022/23
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 require local authorities to:
1. publish an unaudited Statement of Accounts by 31 May each year, and then commence a period for the exercise of the public right to inspect those accounts; and
2. publish an audited Statement of Accounts by 31 July.
In relation to the 2021/22 financial year, the deadlines above were extended to 31 July and 30 September respectively, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, the external audit of the council's 2019/20 Statement of Accounts has not yet been completed. This was delayed initially due to an investigation affecting the Annual Governance Statement. Whilst this investigation has recently been completed, capacity pressures at our external auditor mean that they are unable to complete their audit work until late autumn 2023. This means that the audit of subsequent financial years also remains outstanding.
It should be noted that audit firms nationally have faced significant challenges in having the necessary capacity to conclude their local authority audit work and issue their opinions on time in recent years. Across England, only 9% of local authority audits were completed on time in 2020/21, and only 12% in 2021/22 - leaving more than 220 opinions from prior years outstanding as at May 2023.
The council has also encountered its own capacity issues following the departure of several key officers from the Finance team. Whilst the team is now back to full strength, it will take some time to tackle the backlog of work this has caused.
The delays to both the audit and production of previous years' financial statements has a direct impact on the council's ability to publish draft financial statements in respect of later years. For example, pension figures in relation to 2021/22 and 2022/23 will now have to be updated to reflect the latest triennial pension valuation, which was not available at the time that the 2021/22 Statement of Accounts would usually have been published.
As such, the council has decided to delay the publication of its 2021/22 and 2022/23 Statements of Accounts until the above pensions issue has been resolved, and it is in a position to publish draft accounts which it can be satisfied are complete and accurate for public inspection.
The council will endeavour to publish its accounts and commence the required period of public inspection as soon as possible.
Further announcements will be made on this website in due course, including upon the commencement of the public inspection period. In the meantime, if you have any questions, or if you would like to be notified directly when the public inspection period begins, please contact Jody Etherington, Assistant Director of Finance, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Audit of Accounts 2020/21
On Tuesday 6 July 2021 we published our Audit of Accounts 2020/21 - Notice of Public Rights. Members of the public and local government electors have certain rights in the audit process. These are detailed in the Notice.
The draft accounts presents the financial results of the council's activities for the year ended 31 March 2021, and summarises the overall financial position of the council as at 31 March 2021. This Narrative Report sets out the key issues and is intended to give the reader an insight into the council's performance during 2020/21.
You can find the statements of accounts from previous years on our statements of accounts page.
Independent auditor's report - Late publication notice
The external audit of the draft statement of accounts for the year ending 31 March 2021 has not yet been completed by our external auditors, BDO, due to them being unable to start the audit before the end of October 2021. This is to make sure that there are sufficient and appropriate audit resources to safeguard audit quality and professional standards.
The external audit of the draft statement of accounts for the year ending 31 March 2020 has not yet been completed by our external auditors, BDO, due to the on-going investigation affecting the Annual Governance Statement.
This situation is allowed by Regulation 10, paragraph (2) of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, as amended by the Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 No. 404. For more information, visit legislation.gov.uk - Accounts and audit regulations 2015 and Legislation.gov.uk - The Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.
This notification, as per Regulation 10 paragraph (2), that the Council is not yet able to publish the audited 2019/20 final statement of accounts in line with publication date of 30 September 2020, as per paragraph (1).
BDO LLP have audited the financial statements of Uttlesford District Council for the year ended 31 March 2019 in accordance with the requirements of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.
Annual Audit Letter 2018/19
The annual audit letter is issued following completion of the audit procedures for the year ended 31 March 2019.
You can find the annual audit letters from previous years on our annual audit letters page.
Inspecting financial documents
Printed versions of the Statements of accounts which include all of the original signatures may be inspected at the Council Office in Saffron Walden. Ideally anyone wishing to do so should give 24 hours notice.