Substantial assurance in Council’s payment process

Date published: 20 October 2020

Effective and efficient controls are in place for West Lindsey District Council’s payment processes, according to the latest internal Audit.

Audit Lincolnshire is able to offer Substantial Assurance into the 2019/20 Key Controls Testing Debtors and Creditors’ in the following areas:

  • Adequate authorisation processes in place for raising a purchase order
  • Setting up of new creditors and debtors within the system and high-value payments
  • Monthly control account reconciliations are completed
  • A clear process for the approval of write-offs

Cllr John McNeill, Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee at the Council has welcomed the findings of the review, which took place between June and September 2020.

He said: “Good governance and financial management are both crucial within local government. I am pleased to see that we have been given a substantial assurance for our Key Controls Testing Debtors and Creditors. The audit report gives us confidence that we have adequate authorisation, systems, processes and controls in place to deliver a great service.

“We recognise there are opportunities to enhance and strengthen some of the processes and we will be working together to make further improvements.”

The report found there are opportunities for further improvement around embedding.

an authorisation process for amendments to creditors in the Benefits system and ensuring compliance with Sundry Debt Recover Policy in respect of issuing a third reminder letter.

The findings have been published in a report and presented to the Governance and Audit Committee at the Council on 13 October 2020. The Committee is responsible for the internal audit programme, which changes each year. Internal audits are carried out regularly at the council which is important to ensure we continuously review our governance procedures.

The report was one of three internal audits carried out during the same period into practices and processes at West Lindsey, with the other two reports reviewing Housing Benefit Subsidy Testing, and Food Safety, Environmental Protection and Enforcement Practices, both were awarded High Assurance.

See the full report here

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