Issue - meetings

Grant Thornton Audit Plan

Meeting: 19/03/2024 - Audit Committee (Item 14)

14 Grant Thornton Audit Plan pdf icon PDF 7 MB

To receive the draft version of the Spelthorne Borough Council Indicative Audit Plan from Grant thornton.


The Committee considered the draft Grant Thornton Audit Plan presented by Joanne Brown (Key Audit Partner for Spelthorne) and Keith Mungadzi (Audit Manager) who advised that it would be completed as they gained a better understanding of the Council. Keith Mungadzi highlighted some of the key aspects of the plan including a summary of the significant risks, value for money arrangements, and sector updates.


The Committee queried whether there would be any compensation as the delay in audited accounts was not due to the Council. The Deputy Chief Executive reminded the Committee that the backlog was not related to Grant Thornton but rather to BDO (the previous auditors) and advised that the regulators have stated auditors should be fairly paid for work that was done, where work had not been carried out then there would be no fee. There would not be any compensation. The Committee asked how much BDO were likely to be paid and were advised that it was too early to say.


The Committee asked how they would be kept updated by Grant Thornton. Joanne Brown advised that there would be regular reports which would include a sector update and a progress paper. At the end of the audit there would also be an audit finding report and an annual auditor’s report.


The Committee queried why our audit bill would be higher than that of Elmbridge and were advised that one reason would be our level of commercial investments. The Committee asked what Grant Thornton’s approach would be to the Commercial property portfolio and were informed that they would use their own expert valuer to challenge the valuation assumptions.


The Committee asked what consideration would be given to the Public Interest Report issued by KPMG. Joanne Brown stated that sometime had passed since the PIR was issued but it would be referenced in the value for money work. This would also be considered by BDO in their value for money work for the period 2018-2023. Joanne Brown further stated that there would be a need to better understand what the current auditors were doing and what their plans were under the current backstop arrangements.


The Committee asked whether the Bluebox system would be looked at as part of the audit work and were advised that this was not a system they were currently aware of but would be followed up.


The Committee asked whether, when producing this plan, a review of current accounting policies had been carried out. Joanne Bown advised that a brief review of policies had taken place and looked to be in accordance with the code. Some points on the unaudited accounts had been raised with officers with a view to assisting with the drafting of the 2023/24 accounts.


The Committee resolved to note the draft Audit Plan.