Agenda item

Draft Statement of Accounts 2022/23

To consider the report of the Chief Officer, Financial Services, presenting the draft Statement of Accounts for 2022/23 for information. The report notes that the draft accounts will be approved by the Chief Officer, Financial Services and will be available for the statutory public inspection period on the council’s website. The accounts will be subject to audit by Grant Thornton over the autumn and winter, and it is anticipated that the final audited accounts will be presented to the committee for approval in February.



The Chief Officer Financial Services submitted a report which presented the draft unaudited 2022/23 Statement of Accounts which would be made available on the Council’s website for public inspection for thirty working days commencing Monday, 24th July 2023. Details of the roles, responsibilities and timescales for approving the statement of accounts were set out in the submitted report.


The Head of Finance presented the report providing the following information:

·  Draft Statement of Accounts for 2022-23 had been approved by the S151 Officer on Friday 21st July and were provided to the Committee for information. Members were advised that the draft Statement of Accounts had been published on the Councils website on Monday 24th July, for the public to view them and make any requests for information or make objections to the auditors.

·  Members were made aware that the statutory deadline for the draft accounts had been brought forward by Government to 31st May 2023. It was noted that 70% of local authorities were not in a position to publish their draft accounts by 31st May, and the Council was therefore not unusual in publishing its 2022/23 draft accounts later than the statutory deadline. A notice had been published on the Council’s website explaining the reasons that the date of 31st May had not been met and giving the expected timescales for publication.

·  The audit of the accounts would be carried out by Grant Thornton, it was expected that the audit would start in Autumn, with the final audited accounts ready to be brought back to the Committee in March 2024 where the Committee would be asked to approve the final accounts on behalf of the Council.

·  The Committee were advised that an informal meeting would be arranged in advance of the March meeting with a briefing session so Members could go into the accounts in more detail.

·  Members were informed that the 2021-22 audit of the final accounts was expected to be brought to the Committee in September for approval. Members were advised that an informal briefing session would be arranged for the Committee Members in early September where Members could go through the 2021-22 accounts in more detail.

·  The Committee were informed that the biggest impact on the accounts for 2022-23 had been the pension position due to the way the pensions liabilities are measured, discounted based on corporate bond rates. As the yield on the bond rates had increased significantly during the year, the Council’s liabilities value had decreased as reported in the accounts. It was noted that the Council has a net pension asset on its West Yorkshire Pension Fund which has not happened before. Members noted this impact was on un-spendable reserves and did not affect funding or future contributions to the pension fund as these would be based on the tri-annual reviews.

·  Spendable reserves had reduced during the year, including due to a £12.4m overspend against the budget. It was noted that part of the reduction in reserves was due to funding that had been received in advance from Government and NHS bodies which had been spent during 2022-23.


The Committee acknowledged the report and informal briefing due in September and requested that more information in relation to the reserves position be included.


RESOLVED - To note the unaudited statement of accounts for 2022/23, which is to be certified by the Chief Finance Officer


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