Explanation of the process:
The Town Council’s accounting year runs from 1 April to 31 March.
The Annual Return comprises a 6 page document that must be presented to the Full Town Council for formal approval before it is submitted to the external auditor by 30th of June each year.
The independent internal auditor is also required to sign the Annual Return.
The Annual Return is sent to the external auditor with a variety of supporting documentation, which varies from year to year depending on the specific request of the external auditor. However, the supporting documentation normally includes copies of end of year bank statements and all reports made by the internal auditor, and often insurance policy details, asset and property registers, copies of governance documentation (council rules), risk management schedules and copies of minutes for some specific items.
Upon receipt, the external auditor will examines the Annual Return and its supporting documentation. The external auditor will then complete section 3 (of the 6 page Annual Return) ‘the External auditor’s certificate and opinion and return it to the Town Council.
The Town Council is required to display the fully completed (6 page) Annual Return, with an accompanying notice that advises local electors how they can view the Annual Return. The Notice (and the Return) is always placed in the window of the Guildhall for at least 14 days.
In addition the Town Council now publishes its submission and the completed Annual return on the Newport Town Council website. Hard copies are available at small cost and the original can be viewed by making an appointment at the Guildhall (telephone No 01952 814338)