Extra checks after errors in Oakham Town Council accounts

Oakham Town Partnership's next annual general meeting is being held at Victoria Hall
Oakham Town Partnership's next annual general meeting is being held at Victoria Hall
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Oakham Town Council is having its accounts checked after it made errors.

The council had until June 30 to send the accounts for 2014/15 to its external auditor Grant Thornton. But a number of inaccuracies were found when councillors looked through the documents.

As a result the accounts have now been passed to a firm of accountants to check for further errors.

Mayor of Oakham Alf Dewis said: “The accounts were prepared and authorised on June 10. It was found after they were authorised there were some inaccuracies in the accounts. Practical accounting problems.

“Two invoices for rent income were put in the cash book but the rent had not been received. Debt money had not been received but that was put in the book.”

Coun Dewis said he would not have been happy submitting the accounts with errors.

The documents are currently being looked at by the accountancy firm, with a report expected by the end of this month.

The mayor said: “It’s concerning. The point is that we are doing our best to get them corrected and send them off as soon as possible. We want to make sure there is no doubt that there are no errors.”

A report to council on July 8 concerning the errors said: “These erroneous postings flew in the face of the very basic rule that the cash book should always be the rock solid record of actual receipts and payments.”

The report highlighted “sloppiness or even incompetence” but there was no evidence to suggest an “intention to cheat or defraud”.

Coun Martin Brookes, who was elected in May, said: “There is no place for ‘sloppiness or even incompetence’ even at local government level. I would hope Oakham Town Council will take the appropriate action needed to redress this current situation.”