Decision details

Decision details

External Auditor – Audit Plan 2019/20

Decision Maker: Audit Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The committee received the external auditor’s Audit planning report for the year ending 31 March 2019.


Maria Grindley, from EY, advised the committee that the key section within the repot was the overview of EY’s 2018/19 audit strategy.  This highlighted the risks identified by the external auditor for the upcoming audit of Watford Borough Council.  She explained that where a risk was identified as ‘significant risk’ it was required to review the specified area of focus and not because the auditor had concerns about the council’s management.  It provided the committee with an understanding of the assurance provided when the auditors gave their opinion.  An explanation was provided in the final column.  The inherent risks identified on page 52 of the agenda had been highlighted as they were complex areas.


Following a question from Councillor Khan about risks due to an increased investment portfolio, Maria Grindley responded that the risks were identified depending on the size of a council’s investments.  The auditor’s role was to monitor the investment and ensure there were no problems.


In response to a question from Councillor J Johnson about Croxley Business Park, Maria Grindley advised that the business park had been included due to the size and complexity of the investment.  The external auditor would review whether it had been accounted for, disclosed and processed properly.


The Head of Finance informed the committee that the interim audit had started and the external audit team had been on site for the last week.  There had been good engagement between the auditors and the finance officers. 


Maria Grindley wished to reciprocate the Head of Finance’s comments, who had been very helpful to the team.  Currently there were no concerns about the timeliness of the work.


Following a question from Councillor Khan, the Head of Finance stated that the figure shown for the council’s total reserves would be checked and an update provided to the committee.




1.      that the Watford Borough Council Audit planning report for the year ended 31 March 2019 be noted.


2.      that the level of reserves referred to on page 58 of the agenda be checked and the committee provided with an update.

Report author: Alison Scott

Publication date: 25/03/2019

Date of decision: 14/03/2019

Decided at meeting: 14/03/2019 - Audit Committee

Accompanying Documents:


rating button