The Accounting and Audit Regulations govern the requirements for the production of the Councils accounts. The Council is classed as a 'smaller authority' and its statutory accounts are produced in the form of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) which is subject to a Limited Assurance Audit by PKF Littlejohn LLP, 1 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4HD.
The Council is required:
- To make arrangements for the proper administration of its financial affairs
- To secure that one its officers has the responsibility for the administration of those affairs.
Knebworth Parish Council's officer is the Responsible Financial Officer whose role is:
- To manage the affairs to secure economic, efficient and effective use of resources and safeguard its assets
- To approve the Annual Governance and Accountability Return
- To approve the Statement of Accounts.
The Responsible Finance Officers Responsibilities:
- Responsible for the preparation of the Councils Annual Governance and Accountability Return in accordance with Governance and Accountability for Smaller Authorities in England to present a true and fair view of the financial position of the Council at year end and its income and expenditure for the year end.
In preparing these financial statements, the Responsible Finance Officer has:
- Selected suitable accounting policies and then applied them consistently
- Made judgements and estimates that were reasonable and prudent complied with generally accepted accounting practice
- Kept proper accounting records which were up to date
- Taken reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities
The primary source of income for most Parish Councils comes from the Precept, part of the Council Tax.
The Parish Council receives a small proportion of the local Council Tax. It does not receive any direct funding from central government. The funding collected pays for the running of the Council and the services it provides.
Each year, the Parish Council forecasts how much money it is going to need the following year. This is then divided by the number of properties in the parish that fall into Band D Council Tax bands. This figure is adjusted to take account of such things as exempt properties and planned new houses to get the precept each Council Tax payer in the parish will contribute.