At the end of each financial year we must produce a set of financial statements called Statement of Accounts. These are independently audited and then published on the website.
The financial statements include:
- Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement: outlines the financial performance of the Council during the financial year (1 April to 31 March).
- Balance Sheet: details the net worth of the Council at 31 March of each year, after taking into account the performance for the year shown in the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement.
- Cash Flow Statement: provides another way of looking at the performance for the year removing the accrual of income and expenditure (see Accounting Policy 2) and showing how the cash in and out of the Council has affected the opening and closing cash position.
- Movement in Reserves Statement: the statutory accounting requirements that the Council must follow are sometimes different from the Accounting Standards that we are also required to follow. When this happens statutory requirements take precedence, which means we then have to reconcile the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement prepared under Accounting Standards with the statutory position.
The accounts are prepared in accordance with the relevant accounting standards and statutory requirements. These are applied in East Lothian by using the Accounting Policies explained at the very start of the accounts.
Accountability to the public
Local authorities are accountable to the public for their stewardship of public money. A key element of this is reporting back to the public on how money is or has been used.
During the year the council will receive reports detailing progress with the various budgets and highlighting any important financial issues. These reports are typically reported to the Cabinet at the end of each quarter (June/September/December/March) and available to the public through the Council & Committee Meeting Information section of the website.