Agenda item

Finance Recovery Plan - Update


The Interim Director of Finance presented the Finance Recovery Plan Update. In doing so the following was highlighted:


·       This report was presented at every Audit, Standards and Governance Committee meeting and set out a high level update on the current situation in respect of the Finance Recovery Plan and the deliverables contained within the Plan. The main deliverables were outlined as follows:


o   To rectify the TechOne system

o   To rectify the cash receipting backlog

o   Delivery of the 2020-21, 21/22 and 22/23 Statemnet of Accounts.


·       Since the last Finance Recovery report was considered on 12th July 2023 the following work had been carried out:


1.     A draft Outturn Report for 2022/23 had been presented to Cabinet.

2.     The draft 2022/23 Revenue Outturn Estimates had been presented to DLUHC.

3.     The draft 2022/23 Capital Outturn Estimates had been presented to DLUHC.

4.     A Quarter 1 Finance and Performance Report 2023/24 had been presented to Cabinet.

5.     Joint work had continued with External Audit on providing evidence of control balances at the time of the transfer from eFin to TechOne on 8th February 2021. External Audit had validation routines for theyear 2020/21 financial year and were in the process of reviewing this data.  However, it was noted that the Council were still to provide the Period 0 data.  As part of this process, the Council had extended the eFin contract for three years to comply with legislation and allow the Period 0 data to be extracted.

6.     The 2021/22 Housing Benefits Audit had been signed off.

7.     Financial Awareness Training with Managers had been carried out and Quarter 2 monitoring would be available through TechOne.

8.     Budget Management Training for Managers (including use of TechOne).

9.     Monthly Accounts Payable Training.

10. A Head of Management Accountancy had been engaged on 20th September 2023 and two temporary Technical Accountants started work at the Council in September 2023.

11. The Council upgrade to the TechOne system had taken place in July 2023. It was reported that the Council was now using the most recent version of the TechOne system.

12. The Financial Compliance Report, setting out movement in the Financial Recovery Plan, had been reviewed by the Audit, Standards and Governance Committee in July and September 2023.


Officers stated that currently there were significant resource issues within the audit sector, and this would inevitably impact on the time taken in completing the Statement of Accounts for the majority of local authorities, as had been highlighted earlier in the meeting.


In terms of the issues experienced with the Cash Receipting module within the TechOne system, it was reported that it was hoped that any backlog within the system would be cleared by December 2023.


Officers reported that key legislative deliverables including the VAT Returns and the revenue Outturns for 2020-21 and 2021-22 had recently been submitted to Central Government. The final Capital Outturn and draft Revenue Outturn returns could not be submitted until the accounts had been audited.


Further work continued to be undertaken in respect of Finance and Performance monitoring and the assurance levels of Risk within the Council had improved from ‘No Assurance’ to ‘Moderate Assurance’. These were significant areas of improvement for the Council. A piece of work around Value for Money was also due to be carried out by Internal Audit, in the near future.


In previous years there had been difficulties in respect of Treasury Management reporting. This again had been rectified and the reporting was now taking place as required.


Members were reminded that a two tranche Budget Setting process was now carried out within the Council and that this provided a more transparent approach to budget setting for both Members and residents.


Following the presentation of the report, Members queried the following:


·       Suspense Clearance KPIs – the number of reconciled transactions seemed to be in line with the number of homes within the District. Although it was confirmed that some of these transactions did relate to Council Tax not all of them did.

·       Value for Money – Members queried what the criteria for establishing Value for Money was when carrying out the Internal Audit. It was reported that there were some key themes including using resources effectively and efficiently, budget setting and finance and performance monitoring.


At the end of the discussion Councillor C. Hotham thanked the Interim Director of Finance and the Head of Finance and Customer Services for all of their hard work. It was acknowledged that there was still work to be undertaken but that the Council was in a good position at this current time in respect of the Finance Recovery Plan.




1)    Progress made on the financial recovery be noted including:


a.     Delivery of the Statutory Accounts

b.    Delivery of Statutory Financial Returns

c.     Improvements in the Control Environment


2)    The work still under way to move back to a best practice operation and the associated timetable for completion of this work, as contained within the report, be noted.


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