Holme Parish Council Risk Assessment
9 April 19
Financial Risk Assessment
Possible Risk: Accounting errors due to lack of financial controls.
To address risk: The Parish council has adopted Financial Regulations and Standing Orders and reviews these procedures annually.
The Clerk is the Responsible Financial Officer and the Chairman and Councillor oversee accounting procedures. All financial documentation held by the Clerk is open to inspection.
Monies received are receipted and banked promptly.
All payments are itemised on the Agenda prepared for meetings. All payments are approved at meetings of the full council. Most payments are made by Bacs or cheque and no petty cash is held. Cheques are signed in accordance with the banking mandate and cheque stubs initialled. Cheque numbers, amount and date are written on the invoice. Electronic Bacs payments follow the same process and a member of the Council, after approval by another Councillor, will release the payment online via a password protected environment.
Receipts and Payments are entered on a spreadsheet and copies given to each Councillor at every Parish Council meeting, and attached to the minutes.
Bank statements are reconciled on receipt, given to Councillors at the meeting and the reconciliation is also attached to the minutes.
VAT is reclaimed annually.
Possible Risk: Budget error, wrong amount precepted resulting in too little/too much money to meet Council’s commitments. Excess reserves or spending beyond resources.
To address risk: The budget is prepared in November for the following year. All items for inclusion are fully discussed and financially assessed. A Precept is requested based on the items included in the budget. The Clerk gives a financial report at every meeting with supporting documents given out to each Councillor.
The Clerk’s salary is reviewed annually in January.
Maintenance contracts are reviewed annually or bi-annually and quotations requested before the budget is set.
Possible Risk: Loss of funds due to misappropriation.
To address risk: All orders for good and services are made through the Clerk and with prior authorisation at a Parish Council meeting, except in the case of emergency when the Clerk may incur expenditure having gained approval from the Chairman or Vice Chairman as detailed in the Financial Regulations adopted by the Council.
The Clerk may purchase minor stationery items needed for office administration with the cost being refunded monthly on production of receipts.
All invoices and cheques or BACS payments are approved and signed in accordance with financial regulations and banking mandate.
The Parish Council has cover for Fidelity guarantee within its insurance and this is reviewed annually before renewal to ensure that cover is adequate.
The Clerk keeps a copy of the Register of interests of all Councillors and they are required to inform the Clerk of any changes.
The Clerk’s wages are calculated and paid monthly. Tax and National Insurance are calculated and paid to HMRC quarterly.
Year End accounts are prepared by the Clerk as soon after the end of March as possible and presented to the Council at the next meeting.
An independent auditor is appointed to carry out a full audit at the end of each financial year.
Possible Risk: Under insurance, public liability, employee liability.
To address risk: Insurance cover is reviewed each year prior to renewal. All assets are listed in the Health and Safety folder. If there are any changes these are updated promptly.
All contractors employed by the Parish Council are required to hold Public Liability Insurance cover.
The Parish council has Employers Liability cover and Fidelity Guarantee. Clerk and Councillors have Personal accident cover for duties connected with Parish Council.
Health & Safety
Health & Safety is reviewed at each Parish Council meeting. A nominated Councillor carries out regular inspections of Parish Council property before every meeting. Items requiring maintenance are reported to the Clerk at the next Parish Council meeting or if repairs are more urgent these are dealt with immediately.
An annual inspection of the Clerk’s home office is carried out to ensure that the area is safe (e.g. no trailing wires) and that equipment is being correctly used and maintained.
Meetings are held at the village hall and the room is inspected immediately prior to each meeting by the Clerk and a councillor to ensure that there are no hazards to Councillors, Clerk, or members of the public. Emergency signs and exits are present.