Taxpayer foots bill for Council’s £800k ‘accounting error’

By on 24/01/2013 in Rebuttals

Re: The Birmingham Post article of 24 January “Taxpayer foots bill for Council's £800k 'accounting error' ”.

The issues with the production of the Council's accounts for 2010/11 have been previously thoroughly reported following the External Auditor's “Annual Governance Report” published in March last year.  The delay was primarily due to the implementation of the new IFRS accounting standards, and the Council was successful in obtaining an unqualified audit opinion.

The Council regards the production of its annual Financial Accounts as an important element of its governance arrangements, and in January of last year its Audit Committee approved a three year improvement programme, including additional investment in systems and medium term technical support.  This will help reduce external audit fees for subsequent years.

The Council is, as part of its savings agenda, reducing the overall size of its City Finance function which necessarily results in redundancy costs being incurred, while at the same time developing our capacity in Financial Accounting.

In recent public documents, the External Auditor has acknowledged improvements made in the Council's financial reporting.  Furthermore he has consistently recognised the ongoing quality of the Council's financial planning and budgeting control.

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