M Thomas presented the draft Statement of Accounts for the MCA Group as a whole for the financial year 2020/21.
Members were informed that the unaudited accounts were published on 21st June 2021 and the external audit commenced on the same date.
Members’ attention was drawn to the Narrative Report which provided a summary of the MCA’s financial performance and how it had secured economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of its resources during the year in meeting its strategic aims as a Group. The report also included a section on the impact of Covid-19.
Members were informed that it was thought there was one adjustment which would need to be made in relation to the pensions section of the accounts, South Yorkshire Pensions Authority were having to re-state the value of their pensions assets by in excess of £100m. The meant that the SYPTE accounts would have to be adjusted,
Officers were waiting for a revised statement from the actuary via SYPA when they could look at the detail more closely and take a view, in conjunction with EY, as to whether an adjustment was needed.
It was noted that adjusting the SYPTE accounts would be relatively easy but the Group accounts would be more complex. This would have resource implications and lead to a delay to the closure of the audit.
With regard to timescales, SYPA had indicated they could provide the information by the end of the week which meant adjusted SYPTE accounts could be provided to EY by the middle of the following week. It was unclear when Deloittes (SYPA’s external auditor) would have completed additional testing that EY would require, which could be the cause of a delay.
The committee was reminded that the accounts had to be approved by the MCA Board by the end of September.
It was noted that there had been a similar delay last year and it had been agreed that the Audit & Standards Committee would scrutinise the accounts, recommend them to the MCA Board and, pending the impact of the additional work, for the MCA to approve them on that basis with delegated authority to the Chair of the Audit Committee to approve any changes. Officers’ advice was to follow a similar process this year.
It was noted that EY had engaged with Deloittes and asked for the required information by 2nd August. Deloittes had said they could not meet that deadline. EY were still waiting to be provided with a definite date.
In answer to a question as to whether the Committee could help move the situation forward, M Thomas suggested that members contact their counterparts on SYPA’s Audit Committee to see if they could influence the situation. Officers would also contact SYPA’s s151 officer to see if he could assist in moving things forward.
In answer to a question from Cllr Jones, M Thomas confirmed that there were no other issues within the accounts that caused concern.
G Sutton also confirmed that he had no issues within the accounts and thanked M Thomas and the team for their efforts in the production of the accounts in difficult circumstances.
It was confirmed that there was provision for the Integration Project within the budget and within reserves.
RESOLVED – That the Committee noted that the external audit was currently underway.