Parish Council Accounts


M

Martin Brown

A heretical thought crossed my mind after getting back our Parish
Council accounts (postage due) from a top firm of Canary Wharf
accountants. How can it be cost effective to pay people who won't get
out of bed for less than £100/hour to audit our £1200 of expenditure?

The income distribution of North Yorkshire parish councils is:
<300 4
<1000 16
<3000 43
<10000 77
<30000 82
<100000 90
<300000 92 (all)

We don't actually pay any audit fee because we are so small but you can
bet your bottom dollar that these accountants are getting top whack!

We are audited on the basis of being "smaller bodies" with a turnover
under £6M. The auditors found a "mistake" in our filing. I wonder why we
have to employ such insanely expensive auditors for a trivial sum!

A £12 grant which is part of the total precept should apparently have
been shown in Box 4 rather than Box 3. I am very curious to know if they
are right (it has always been done the same way) but I have no idea
where to look and the "helpful" guidelines I can find are just as
ambiguous as the form itself.

Anyone know what the legislation actually says?

The core of the problem is interpreting conflicting guidance:

Total Precept = Net Precept + Council Tax Support Grant.

The question is which box should CTSG go into - Box3 or Box4?

The helpful notes and guidance say:

Box 3 (+) Annual precept
Total amount of precept received or receivable in the year

Box 4 (+) Total other receipts
Total income or receipts as recorded in the cashbook less precept
received (line 2). Include any grants received here.

It all hinges on the meaning of "Total Precept" and "Any grants".
If they mean "Net precept" then I think they should say so.

It strikes me as a very expensive way of moving £12 from one box to
another. Why is the audit commission employing expensive top flight
Canary Wharf accountants to check this sort of utter trivia?

Are there really no suitably qualified accountants outside of central
London that can handle this sort of thing?
 
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M

Mark Goodge

A heretical thought crossed my mind after getting back our Parish
Council accounts (postage due) from a top firm of Canary Wharf
accountants. How can it be cost effective to pay people who won't get
out of bed for less than £100/hour to audit our £1200 of expenditure?
For the same reason that it's cost effective to pay a plumber £40/hour to
change a tap worth £40, or a mechanic £20/hour to change a pipe worth a
fiver.

The cost of labour isn't related to the cost of the item being worked on,
it's related to the skill necessary to work on it and the rate that the
market will bear.
Are there really no suitably qualified accountants outside of central
London that can handle this sort of thing?
Of course there are. They may not necessarily be cheaper, though.

Mark
 
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7

7

Mark said:
For the same reason that it's cost effective to pay a plumber £40/hour to
change a tap worth £40, or a mechanic £20/hour to change a pipe worth a
fiver.

The cost of labour isn't related to the cost of the item being worked on,
it's related to the skill necessary to work on it and the rate that the
market will bear.


Of course there are. They may not necessarily be cheaper, though.

A large part of the problem with filing accounts is that
web sites were written by trolls and managed in a completely
cow boy style approach.

Nothing works at companies house for example.

There are no boxes to tick or links to click to
file accounts for small, medium and large companies.

These luddites may as well resign, and go back to pen and paper.
They shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a web site.

Even 10 year old kids can now make web sites.

So why can't companies house and anyone else connected
with filing accounts make it feasible to small, medium,
and large firms to tick simple boxes and click OK to
file accounts?

The trolls have lost all perspective.

Using say a software package like Altium is inifinitely
more complex than filing accounts. But I can click
on all relevant functions and train myself to use it in
a couple of days with the help of web links.

Filing accounts would rank about one tenth of the complexity.
It requires absolute morons in high places to install
these cow boy style web sites that accomplish nothing.

No amount of best practice has been followed.
No amount of self control and self testing has been followed through.
No amount of independent testing and consulations with small,
medium and large businesses have been carried out.

The entire companies house team should resign and
the government should replace the whole lot with
more tech savy and business savvy management.
 

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