The Finance Service exists to provide a range of financial services to:
- the Council
- its committees and working parties
- Scottish Executive
- other external bodies
The overall aim of the Finance Service is to provide a forward looking and innovative range of quality financial services to clients. Quality is defined as meeting agreed customer needs.
Financial Facts and Figures gives a brief guide to Aberdeenshire Council's Revenue and Capital Budgets and is intended to be a handy at-a-glance reference to the main financial points.
The core financial services are:
- Payroll and Payments
- Revenues and Benefits
- Internal Audit
- Compilation and monitoring of individual revenue budgets for each service
- Compilation of the Council's Annual Statutory Abstract of Accounts
- Development and implementation of financial system
In addition to the major tasks of budget preparation and monitoring and the preparation of statutory financial accounts, the section deals with the plethora of ad hoc accounting matters in a large local authority, e.g. Value Added Tax, Income Tax, submission of statutory returns, administration of Trust and Common Good Funds, etc.
Payroll and Payments
The Payroll and Payments Section is responsible for all payments that the Council make to staff and suppliers. These include Payroll, Accounts Payable, Travel and Subsistence along with the administration of car loans and leases.
Revenues and Benefits
The Revenues Section is responsible for the billing and collection of Council Tax and Non-Domestic or Business Rates, together with Residual Community Charge and Sundry Debtors. Water and wastewater charges levied by Scottish Water are collected along with the Council Tax. The Benefits section is responsible for administering and ensuring that Housing Benefit (rent rebate and rent allowances) is paid, plus £6 million of council tax rebate, to about 20,000 claimants.
The Council's Financial Regulations require that an internal audit, under the independent control and direction of the Director of Finance, shall be arranged to carry out a review and appraisal of the internal controls of the Council. Most audits undertaken are systems-based audits which involve ascertaining documenting and evaluating the system of control over the area being reviewed. Thereafter, specific testing is carried out to ensure that the system is operating as it should so as to protect the assets of the Council, ensure that financial and other information is accurate and complete, that applicable legislation and policies are complied with, and that staff operating the system and having custody of Council assets are adequately protected. The Section is also responsible for carrying out ad hoc investigations into potential irregularities involving cash, stores, equipment or other property of the Council.
The Corporate Section of Aberdeenshire Finance deals with the preparation and co-ordination of revenue budgets across all services and the preparation of the overall Council's Revenue Budget. The section also deals with insurances, treasury management (borrowing and lending on the London money markets), monitoring of new legislation, Revenue Support Grant, Private Finance Initiatives, Members' allowances and expenses, Bank Reconciliation, and other ad hoc matters of a technical financial nature.