Financial Risk Assessment
The council has looked at the financial risks that it must deal with and resolved to adopt the following policy.
1. Handling Cash
The parish council does not handle cash on a daily basis. The only regular income is the precept, rent for Hillside Cottage, the grass cutting contribution from NYCC, the annual VAT return and the Wayleave from Northern PowerGrid. All of these are paid directly into the parish council's bank account. The Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) holds a small cash reserve that is used for the purchase of small items. This expenditure is reported regularly to the Council.
2. Employers Liability
The council does not employ any staff.
3. Public Liability
The council has public liability cover to £10 million under its policy with Zurich Municipal
4. Fidelity Guarantee
The council does not, currently, have a fidelity guarantee.
5. Contracts and Tendering
The council has a standing order in place for contract, which is mandatory. (See the Council’s Financial Regulations).
6. Banking Arrangements
The Council’s preferred method of banking is “internet banking”. The clerk/RFO also has access to internet banking, and is the only person registered to initiate payments on line. All Councillors have access to internet banking and initiated payments require two of these councillors to authorise a payment on line.
Two debit cards exist and are held permanently by the Clerk and the Chairman. These are used for purchases in a number of settings, including on line.
All Councillors are also cheque signatories. Two Councillor signatures are required by the bank and in law. (See the Council’s Financial Regulations)
The Council uses the BACS system (internet banking) to make payments and the following measures are in place to minimise risks in this process:
All invoices presented must contain full bank details of any payees. Any amendments to these are to be received in writing and signed. All invoices are presented by the Clerk for checking for payment details before payments are authorised by two independent Councillors. Councillors and the Clerk do not have sole access online to make or set up payments. All payments are subsequently checked using the internal control system (See the Council’s Financial Regulations).
7. Bank Reconciliation
The designated Councillor receives a budget against spend statement, including bank balances, and copies of bank statements to accord with the period of the reconciliation. Assurance is given to the full Council following these checks.
8. Cash Book Records
The cashbook is kept on Excel datasheet and is circulated at each meeting.
9. Internal Audit
The council has appointed an independent internal auditor. An audit is carried out on an annual basis.
10. Internal Control
The council has established a system of internal control and set criteria for the appointed councillor to work to. The councillor is appointed at the annual meeting to undertake the internal control checks throughout the year as agreed in the council’s policy (see Financial Regulations).
Policy Published March 2021