Marden Parish Council Finance Committee meet quarterly to undertake an internal audit and a review of the income and expenditure for the current financial year. In November/December the Committee meet to discuss the precept and budget for the next financial year and this proposal is then put to the next Full Council meeting for ratification. Once the Precept has been agreed at Full Council the request must be sent to Maidstone Borough Council before 31st January.
The Precept of a Parish Council is an amount of money agreed by the Parish Council for the running of the parish for the next financial year - this is added to each property's council tax. The Precept for 2015/16 was increased significantly following a consultation via the Parish Council newsletter to provide the finance, via a Public Works Loan, for the funding to cover the cost of the new roof at Marden Memorial Hall - this followed many months of trying by the Hall Trustees to obtain the funding from other sources. The loan was received in July 2015 and payments are made January and July of each year - the term of the loan is 30 years.
The Parish Council accounts are entered on a fully authorised software package, specifically aimed at Parish Councils, and this is maintained by the Parish Clerk acting as the Responsible Financial Officer. A breakdown of the monthly income and expenditure together the monthly bank reconciliation is provide to Councillors at the Full Council meeting or as soon after as possible. Expenditure over £100 must be made available for parishioners to view. The Parish Council has two accounts for the day to day income and expenditure (reserve accounts) with Nat West and Unity Bank. It also has one account for capital expenditure (Santander).
The budget for the next financial year is discussed and proposed at the November/December Finance Committee meeting. A spreadsheet is provided to all Cllrs at monthly Full Council meetings of the income/expenditure against the budget.
For auditing purposes an asset register of all property/items owned by the Parish Council needs to be kept and updated at least annually.
STATEMENT OF INTERNAL CONTROL
The Clerk, acting as Responsible Financial Officer, prepares and end of year statement of the internal control of the Parish Council and this is presented to the Full Council with the end of year accounts in May.
INTERNAL & EXTERNAL AUDITORS
Auditing Solutions undertake the twice yearly internal audits
PKF Littlejohn undertake the annual external audit