Statement to Members
This statement is issued in connection with the union’s annual return for the period ended 31 December 2020. As required by Section 32A of Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Income and Expenditure
The total income of the union for the year was £2,861,347. This amount included total payments of £2,741,811 from members of the union. The union’s total expenditure for the period was £2,272,059. The union does not maintain a political fund.
Salary paid to and other benefits provided to the General Secretary, President and members of the Executive
The General Secretary of the union was paid a salary of £133,407, employer pension contributions of £4,000 were made on his behalf plus £14,657 was paid in respect of benefits. The President and other members of the Executive were not paid any amount in respect of salary or benefits.
A member who is concerned that some irregularity may be occurring, or has occurred, in the conduct of the financial affairs of the union may take steps with a view to investigating further, obtaining clarification and, if necessary, securing regularisation of that conduct.
The member may raise any such concern with one or more of the following as it seems appropriate to raise it with: the officials of the union, the trustees of the property of the union, the auditor or auditors of the union, the Certification Officer (who is an independent officer appointed by the Secretary of State) and the police.
Where a member believes that the financial affairs of the union have been or are being conducted in breach of the law or in breach of the rules of the union and contemplates bringing civil proceedings against the union or responsible officials or trustees, he should consider obtaining independent legal advice.
We have audited the financial statements of Accord (the ‘Union’) for the year ended 31 December 2020, which comprise the Statement of comprehensive income, the Balance sheet, the Statement of changes in equity and the related notes, including a summary of significant accounting policies. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards, including Financial Reporting Standard 102 ‘The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland’ (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice).
In our opinion the financial statements:
- give a true and fair view of the state of the Union’s affairs as at 31 December 2020 and of its surplus or deficit for the year then ended;
- have been properly prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice; and
- have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the section 28 to 36 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Basis for opinion
We conducted our audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK) (ISAs (UK)) and applicable law. Our responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditors’ responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements section of our report. We are independent of the Union in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to our audit of the financial statements in the United Kingdom, including the Financial Reporting Council’s Ethical Standard, and we have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. We believe that the audit evidence we have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion.
Conclusions relating to going concern
In auditing the financial statements, we have concluded that the Council’s use of the going concern basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements is appropriate.
Based on the work we have performed, we have not identified any material uncertainties relating to events or conditions that, individually or collectively, may cast significant doubt on the Union’s ability to continue as a going concern for a period of at least twelve months from when the financial statements are authorised for issue.
Our responsibilities and the responsibilities of the Council with respect to going concern are described in the relevant sections of this report.
The Council is responsible for the other information. The other information comprises the information included in the Annual Report, other than the financial statements and our Auditors’ report thereon. Our opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and, except to the extent otherwise explicitly stated in our report, we do not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon.
In connection with our audit of the financial statements, our responsibility is to read the other information and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements or our knowledge obtained in the audit or otherwise appears to be materially misstated. If we identify such material inconsistencies or apparent material misstatements, we are required to determine whether there is a material misstatement in the financial statements or a material misstatement of the other information. If, based on the work we have performed, we conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, we are required to report that fact.
We have nothing to report in this regard.
In our opinion, based on the work undertaken in the course of the audit:
- the information given in the Council’s report for the financial year for which the financial statements are prepared is consistent with the financial statements; and
- the Council’s report has been prepared in accordance with applicable legal requirements.
Matters on which we are required to report by exception
In the light of the knowledge and understanding of the Union and its environment obtained in the course of the audit, we have not identified material misstatements in the Council’s report.
We have nothing to report in respect of the following matters in relation to which we are required to report to you if, in our opinion:
- adequate accounting records have not been kept, or returns adequate for our audit have not been received from branches not visited by us; or
- the financial statements are not in agreement with the accounting records and returns; or
- certain disclosures of Council’s remuneration specified by law are not made; or
- we have not received all the information and explanations we require for our audit.
Responsibilities of Principal Executive Council
As explained more fully in the Council’s responsibilities statement, the Council is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view, and for such internal control as the Council determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
In preparing the financial statements, the Council is responsible for assessing the Union’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless the Council either intends to liquidate the Union or to cease operations, or have no realistic alternative but to do so.
Auditors’ responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements
Our objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an Auditors’ report that includes our opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs (UK) will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements. Irregularities, including fraud, are instances of non-compliance with laws and regulations. We design procedures in line with our responsibilities, outlined above, to detect material misstatements in respect of irregularities, including fraud. The extent to which our procedures are capable of detecting irregularities, including fraud is detailed below:
Discussions with and enquiries of management and those charged with governance were held with a view to identifying those laws and regulations that could be expected to have a material impact on the financial statements. During the engagement team briefing, the outcomes of these discussions and enquiries were shared with the team, as well as consideration as to where and how fraud may occur in the entity.
The following laws and regulations were identified as being of significance to the entity:
- Those laws and regulations considered to have a direct effect on the financial statements include UK financial reporting standards and Tax and Pensions legislation.
- Those laws and regulations for which non-compliance may be fundamental to the operating aspects of the union and therefore may have a material effect on the financial statements include trade union legislation, operational requirements, health and safety legislation, employment law and data protection laws.
Audit procedures undertaken in response to the potential risks relating to irregularities (which include fraud and non-compliance with laws and regulations) comprised of: inquiries of management and those charged with governance as to whether the entity complies with such laws and regulations; enquiries with the same concerning any actual or potential litigation or claims; inspection of relevant legal correspondence; review of Council minutes; testing the appropriateness of journal entries; and the performance of analytical review to identify unexpected movements in account balances which may be indicative of fraud.
No instances of material non-compliance were identified. However, the likelihood of detecting irregularities, including fraud, is limited by the inherent difficulty in detecting irregularities, the effectiveness of the entity’s controls, and the nature, timing and extent of the audit procedures performed. Irregularities that result from fraud might be inherently more difficult to detect than irregularities that result from error. As explained above, there is an unavoidable risk that material misstatements may not be detected, even though the audit has been planned and performed in accordance with ISAs (UK).
As part of an audit in accordance with ISAs (UK), we exercise professional judgment and maintain professional scepticism throughout the audit. We also:
- Identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for our opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control.
- Obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion of the effectiveness of the Union’s internal control.
- Evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by the Council.
- Conclude on the appropriateness of the Council’s use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the Union’s ability to continue as a going concern. If we conclude that a material uncertainty exists, we are required to draw attention in our Auditors’ report to the related disclosures in the financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify our opinion. Our conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of our Auditors’ report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Union to cease to continue as a going concern.
- Evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the financial statements, including the disclosures, and whether the financial statements represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation.
We communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that we identify during our audit.
Use of our report
This report is made solely to the Union’s members, as a body, in accordance with section 36 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Union’s members those matters we are required to state to them in an Auditors’ report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Union and the Union’s members, as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.
Chartered Accountants and Statutory Auditors
24/05/2021View financial report