Agenda item

Revenue Outturn Report 2022-23


The Committee received a report setting out the final position on the General Fund and the Collection Fund revenue accounts, for the 2022-23 financial year

Overall, the outturn on the General Fund for 2022-23 had been £6.49 million more than originally budgeted, which would be financed from the Medium-Term Financial Plan reserve.  The Chief Financial Officer, in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Lead Councillor for Finance and Property, had delegated authority to deal with the overspend and to transfer the necessary resources from the reserve. 

The report had set out the major reasons for the variance.  Net income from interest receipts had been £915,000 more than estimated and the minimum revenue provision (MRP) for debt repayment had been £5,000 higher than estimated.

During the accounts closure process, a number of adjustments had been made following a review of the balance sheet, details of which were set out in the report.

Historically the Council held many reserves for specific purposes.  For 2022-23 all reserves that were held for internal policy reasons had been merged into the Medium-Term Financial Plan Reserve.  There were still some specific reserves, but these had been kept to a minimum.

The business rates balance on the collection fund was particularly susceptible to movements in the number and values of appeals businesses had made against their rateable values.  The Council had no control over such appeals and had limited information from the Valuation Office to help assess the potential impact.

The Collection Fund revenue account for the year had shown an overall deficit of £1.735 million, of which the Council’s share was £0.694 million, which would be recovered from the General Fund in 2023-24.

The outturn position will be included in the Statement of Accounts which would be signed by the Chief Financial Officer and subsequently audited by Grant Thornton.  This Committee would review the audited statement of accounts.

During the debate, the Committee made the following comments:                                                                                          

·      In response to a request for an update on the annual audit of accounts, the Interim Section 151 Officer had spoken recently to Paul Cuttle, Lead Auditor from Grant Thornton who had indicated that nationally, the government had decided that outstanding audits not finalised by 31 March 2024 were unlikely to be completed.  For Guildford, that would mean that, although the 2020-21 accounts would be signed off before that date, the audits of the 2021-22 and 2022-23 accounts might never be completed.  The Committee was advised that the finance team had undertaken a full review of those accounts and had exercised due diligence to ensure that the issues raised as part of the 2020-21 accounts did not recur in the subsequent accounts. A particular problem that might arise in respect of the audit of the current year’s accounts would be establishing opening balances.

·      Concern over provision for bad debt of £500,000 for caravan sites identified following the balance sheet review during the 2022-23 closing process, and enquiry as to what provisions had been put in place to prevent a recurrence of the bad debt. In response, officers explained that the review of the balance sheet had been comprehensive, and that the figure represented an accumulated historical error and that the provision for bad debt had been revised based on actual arrears shown on the system.

Having considered the report and noted that this matter would also be considered by the Executive at its meeting on 23 November, the Committee

RESOLVED: That the recommendation to the Executive contained in the report be supported, subject to the comments referred to above made by the Committee during its debate.



·      To note the final outturn position for 2022-23 and delegated decisions taken by the Chief Financial Officer which would be included in the statutory accounts.

·      To facilitate the ongoing financial management of the Council.


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