Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Statement of Accounts

Unaudited Statement of Accounts 2018/19

The Financial Reporting Council has made it clear to all external auditors that they are expected to sufficiently and robustly challenge management’s (and their experts) assumptions and judgement used to support property plant and equipment figures in organisations accounts.

The freehold and leasehold properties within the Authority’s property portfolio are valued, under a five-year programme, by the Authority’s property advisers (Lambert Smith Hampton) with impairment reviews made annually. The last full valuation was undertaken at 31 March 2015.  All valuations were undertaken in accordance with the Statements of Asset Valuation Practice and Guidance Notes of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The next full valuation exercise was scheduled for 31st March 2020.

Our property advisers carry out a desktop overview of changes in asset values in the years a full valuation exercise is not carried out. Based on these desktop exercises the value of land and buildings included in the unaudited accounts at 31st March 2019 is £105.4m.  The Authority’s auditor Grant Thornton (GT) has assessed the value of materiality for the financial statements at £1.3m. This represents 1.23% of the value of land and buildings.

The Authority is of the view that the most practical method of satisfying our auditors and management on the material accuracy of land and buildings value is for the Authority’s property advisers (LSH) to carry out a full valuation exercise on the property portfolio at 31 March 2019.  This will take a few weeks and Grant Thornton have agreed to delay the issuing of their audit opinion until after the Authority has completed the full valuation exercise and reflected any changes in the Accounts.

The final audited Accounts will then be published on the Authority’s website.

 

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