2017/18 Documentation and Instructions:
In addition to the other guidance provided on our website for smaller authorities, this page includes all the necessary forms and instructions for smaller authorities for the financial year 2017/18.
There are major changes to the requirements for smaller authorities for the 2017/18 reporting season. The main change to the requirements of the regime relates to those smaller authorities who are eligible to exempt themselves from our review. Although there is no change at all to the requirement for all smaller authorities to complete and approve an Annual Return, now known as the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR), and to provide for public rights; exempt authorities must meet a number of specified criteria and then only need submit a copy of their exemption certificate to us.
Please read the detailed instructions for 2017/18 carefully to find out whether your authority is affected by these changes.
The following documents also include guidance to assist you in your duties surrounding the preparation of the AGAR for your smaller authority:
- Decision tree - including at a glance guidance on which part of the AGAR you should complete and a summary of the relevant documents to submit, dependent on your smaller authority’s circumstances
- AGAR Part 1 - for smaller authorities with no annual income or expenditure - printable 'paper' PDF version and electronically enabled PDF version
- AGAR Part 2 - for smaller authorities certifying themselves as exempt from our review - printable 'paper' PDF version and electronically enabled PDF version
- AGAR Part 3 - for smaller authorities subject to a limited assurance review - printable 'paper' PDF version and electronically enabled PDF version
- Public rights - including guidance on advertising the period during which electors and interested persons may exercise rights relating to the Accounting Statements; the pro forma notice of public rights and publication of unaudited annual return (including our suggested dates to assist smaller authorities to comply with the Regulations); and the guidance notes for the public ‘Local authority accounts – a summary of your rights’.
- Public rights for exempt authorities - including guidance for exempt authorities only on advertising the period during which electors and interested persons may exercise rights relating to the Accounting Statements; the pro forma notice of public rights and publication of annual return (including our suggested dates to assist smaller authorities to comply with the Regulations); and the guidance notes for the public ‘Local authority accounts – a summary of your rights’.
The following documents include pro forma templates and further guidance to assist you in the completion of your year end procedures before submission of the AGAR Part 3 for our review:
- Confirmation of the dates for the period for the exercise of public rights - pro forma
- Bank reconciliation - pro forma and example
- Explanation of variances - pro forma
- Reconciliation between box 7 and box 8 - pro forma (where accounts are prepared on an income and expenditure basis only)
- Contact details form
- Address label - please note though that all documents can be scanned and emailed to us
- Examples of common issues with submitted documents during 2016/17
- Public Works Loan Board (‘PWLB') year end data
- 2017/18 precept information
- Frequently asked questions and answers – April 2018
Please use the form below to provide feedback following the completion of the 2017/18 reporting season if you wish:
Guidance - the Practitioners' Guide
- Governance & Accountability for Smaller Authorities in England (March 2018) Please note that although this version applies for 2018/19 onwards, the Joint Panel on Accounting & Governance (JPAG) has only clarified proper practices - there have been no material changes and so it should be referred to when completing the 2017/18 AGAR. Please note that sections 1 & 2 constitute 'proper practices' that smaller authorities must follow.
2017/18 Information from Training Webinar on 23 Jan 2018 *NB - please see update*
- The recorded version of the presentation & question session can be viewed here - please note that the contents page and the first slide of the presentation are not visible due to a technical glitch that was quickly ironed out at the start of the recording. Apologies for this, please refer to the slides to view those pages.
- PowerPoint slides including speaker’s notes
- FAQs – frequently asked questions arising from the live webinar session with responses
- Update - details of a number of changes to the information provided during or with the webinar.
- Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
- Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015
- Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015
- Smaller Authorities (Transparency Requirements) (England) Regulations 2015
- Transparency code for smaller authorities
- Local Government (Transparency Requirements) (England) Regulations 2015
- Local Government Transparency Code 2015
- Scale of fees 2017/18 to 2021/22
- NAO Code of Audit Practice 2015
- Auditor Guidance Note 2 - Specified Procedures for Assurance Engagements at Smaller Authorities (AGN 02)
- The roles of the National Audit Office and local auditors in relation to local bodies and small authorities in England
- Local authority accounts: A guide to your rights
- National Audit Office (NAO)
- National Association of Local Councils - NALC
- Society of Local Council Clerks - SLCC
- Association of Drainage Authorities - ADA
- Smaller Authorities' Audit Appointments Limited (SAAA)