Year-end survey 2020/21
03 October 2021
The survey revealed the following key points:
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- the Covid-19 financial regime impacted on all parts of the preparation and audit of the accounts
- some central guidance and centrally provided information was made available late in the process and that caused some difficulties particularly in relation to:
- arrangements for central procurement of equipment and stock
- accounting for new arrangements and the funding arrangements for initiatives such as the lighthouse labs
- NHS bodies and their auditors have different views on:
- the extended deadline – auditors see it as necessary to complete their work, NHS bodies view it as auditors taking the additional time to undertake more (and perhaps unnecessary) work
- changes to the financial regime – NHS bodies are concerned that auditors do not understand the guidance that they are working to while auditors are concerned that NHS bodies are not preparing robust working papers that justify the judgements that they have made
- agreement of balances remains problematic but for different reasons than before the pandemic. Transactions with NHS England are difficult to agree and there were difficulties with agreeing the timing of transactions.