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Smaller Authorities

Smaller authorities

Moore East Midlands was appointed as external auditor to the SAAA to all relevant smaller authorities in Oxfordshire and West Sussex for a five year period from 2017/18.  (A full list of the appointed auditor for each authority is maintained on the SAAA website.)


Please note, the guidance is subject to change at any time and the latest guidance can be found on the NALC website.


Scam email warning
We have been alerted by the OALC to a scam email being sent to clerks.  The emails purport to come from Moore Stephens, and ask for prompt payment of a bogus invoice .  If you do receive an email from a Moore Stephens address, please delete these immediately and do not open the attachments.   

We rebranded to Moore in 2019, and are no longer called Moore Stephens. Our correct email address is [email protected] for clerks in Oxfordshire and [email protected] for clerks in West Sussex.   Please also note that our fees are only raised either when the final report has been issued or when we are chasing late submission of the AGAR.

If you do receive an email and you are not sure if it is genuine, please contact us on 01733 397300. 

Parish Meetings
From 1 August 2020, the regulations were changed to allow Parish Meetings to hold a virtual meeting (using online software) to approve the AGAR.   However, any submissions dated prior to
1 August 2020 must have followed the standard processes and must have met physically in person.

JPAG letter
The Joint Panel on Accountability and Governance (JPAG) has written to practitioners clarifying queries that have arisen since JPAG published its Practitioners Guide on 30 March 2020.


Clarification has now been provided and approved by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in relation to how smaller authorities should conduct meetings in the present climate and to extend deadlines in place for the submission of the annual accounts to 31 March 2020.

Please note: Authorities must publish the dates of their public inspection period, and given the removal of the common inspection period and extension of the overall deadlines for this year, it is recommended that all authorities provide public notice on their websites when the public inspection period would usually commence, explaining why they are departing from normal practice for 2019/20 accounts.

Read letter sent to all Local Authority Chief Executives

Please note Smaller Authorities are Category 2 Authorities in the regulation changes below.

As a result, a two-month extension to all deadlines has been confirmed to allow authorities additional time to complete their preparation and organise review and approval of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return for this period.
ALL DOCUMENTS MUST NOW BE SUBMITTED ON OR BEFORE 31 AUGUST 2020 – please do not wait until your public inspection periods have concluded before submitting your documents.
Furthermore, meetings of Parish Councils can now be held virtually using online software rather than being required to be held in person as well as updates having been made to how the public and journalists attend these meetings.
These updates have been widely circulated through NALC and SAAA, please review their correspondence, websites or contact your local authority for the full detail in relation this. Links to specific public pages dedicated to the latest news on coronavirus can be seen below:
Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020
A copy of the SI, which comes into force on 30 April 2020, can be accessed at the following website:

The amended requirements are expected to apply to audits of 2019-20 accounts only.
The key changes for publication of draft and final accounts are as follows:

For Category 1 authorities:
  • The deadline for authorities to publish draft financial statements moves from 31 May to 31 August 2020.
  • The deadline for publication of final (audited) financial statements moves from 31 July to 30 November 2020.
For Category 2 authorities (smaller authorities):
  • The deadline for authorities to publish draft Annual Governance and Accountability Returns (AGAR) moves from 31 May to 31 August 2020.
  • The deadline for publication of final (audited) AGAR moves from 30 September to 30 November 2020.
For both Category 1 and Category 2 authorities, the requirement for a ‘common’ inspection period has been removed. The requirement to hold a 30-working-day inspection period remains, but for 2019-20 both Category 1 and Category 2 authorities can commence the inspection period at any time, except it must commence no later than 1 September 2020. This will allow authorities to produce their draft accounts and commence their inspection periods as soon as they are able.

Contact Moore
Our Smaller Authorities team is led by Partner and Not-for-profit specialist, Carolyn Rossiter.  The primary contact for any enquiries relating to the limited assurance review process is Rich Dixon, Audit Manager. 

The team can be contacted by telephone on 01733 397300 or via email at:
[email protected] for smaller authorities in Oxfordshire
[email protected]  for smaller authorities in West Sussex 

You can write to us at: 

FAO Rich Dixon
Rutland House
Minerva Business Park
Lynch Wood