The Committee received and considered the report and a summary presentation from Debbie Hanson,Associate Partner, Ernst & Young LLP in respect of the Audit Results Report in relation to the audit of Great Yarmouth Borough Council for 2019/20, she also advised that the audit for the year ended 31 March 2020 is substantially completed.
She advised that subject to concluding the outstanding matters listed in the report it is expected that an unqualified audit opinion will be issued on the financial statements. One of the concerns raised was in respect of the capacity of the finance team bearing in mind the range of functions undertaken.
Councillor Wainwright commented that the Finance Team are stretched for capacity, in line with many other council departments. However he wished to commend the team on their work in administering the Covid Grants, as this had been exceptional and it has been impressive in the way that they have supported local businesses in this work.
Debbie Hanson advised the Committee that the resource implications had impacted on the amount of time it had taken to complete the audit which had resulted in additional costs to the council.
The Finance Director advised the Committee that capacity is tight but the work had been exacerbated by having an audit for 2019/20 running a year behind, it was also a challenge to respond to questions at a distance of time. In a normal year this would not have been such an issue. The team had considered recruiting additional resources to support the grant work but it had been felt that this would not be feasible within the tight turnaround requirements.
Councillor Flaxman-Taylor echoed the comments of Councillor Wainwright praising the work of the finance team in very difficult circumstances.
To receive the Audit Results Report in relation to the audit of Great Yarmouth Borough Council for the year ended 31 March 2020.