Issue - meetings

External Audit Update November 2020

Meeting: 16/11/2020 - Audit, Governance and Standards Committee (Item 149)

149 External Audit Update November 2020 pdf icon PDF 64 KB

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The Committee considered the report of the Head of Finance providing (a) an update from Grant Thornton, the External Auditor, on the progress towards the completion of the audit of the 2019/20 financial statements and value for money conclusion and (b) a sector update from the External Auditor on some of the emerging national issues and developments that might impact on the Council.


It was noted that the external audit work was now substantially complete, and the anticipated outcome was an unqualified audit report opinion including an Emphasis of Matter paragraph highlighting Property Plant and Equipment (PPE) valuation material uncertainties for both the Council property and its share of assets included in the IAS 19 Pension Fund actuarial position arising from potential impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on these figures.


Ms Tina James of Grant Thornton advised the Committee that the External Auditor had completed work on the PPE valuations by the time the report was produced and there was nothing further to report on that.  In terms of the items that were outstanding at the time the report was produced, the assurance letter from the Kent Pension Fund auditor had now been received and provided sufficient assurance, so no further work was required on that.


In response to questions, Ms James explained that:


·  The External Auditor would be producing an updated Audit Findings Report and an Annual Audit Letter summarising the financial position and overall conclusion and confirming that sufficient assurance had been obtained in relation to, for example, the valuation of the Pension Fund net liability to reach that conclusion.


·  In terms of the net pension liability, key assumptions such as life expectancy were assessed by the actuary and then reviewed by the External Auditor using PricewaterhouseCoopers as an auditor’s expert.


·  Typographical errors in the External Auditor’s Audit Findings Report identified during the discussion would be corrected in the final version of the document.




1.  That the updated Audit Findings Report from the External Auditor, attached as Appendix 1 to the report of the Head of Finance, be noted.


2.  That the Audit Progress Report and Sector Update from the External Auditor, attached as Appendix 2 to the report of the Head of Finance, be noted.