Wyre Forest: Collection Fund Closedown 2021/22


Accounting for the Collection Fund has always been complex; but, with the advent of further COVID-related reliefs and Section 31 grants, not to mention spreading of exceptional deficit balances, authorities have found this even more challenging.

The Challenge

A senior staff member’s departure prompted Wyre Forest’s decision to streamline and future proof its Collection Fund closedown process.

Alongside this, other closure of accounts pressures and the COVID-19 changes to Collection Fund accounting put staff under further duress.

In a bid to bolster its resilience, Wyre Forest also wanted to support its up-and-coming accountants, having two new trainees starting.

The Solution

As well as adopting LG Futures’ Collection Fund Suite for surety, Wyre Forest decided to tap into LG Futures’ expert consultancy, with the focus on supporting its new trainees.

The intention was to give assurance to Collection Fund accounting processes and working papers, identifying where these could be improved, with a view to potentially replacing them longer-term with the Collection Fund Suite.

LG Futures worked with Wyre Forest on a bespoke basis, guiding its team through the closedown of its Collection Fund for 2021/22. This involved:

Reconciling revenues system reports

Working through the implications of the cash and refunds reconciliations

Completing LG Futures’ models

Identifying where there were items that needed to be aligned, such as the treatment of outstanding court cost balances, year-end cash accruals etc.

LG Futures continued to work with Wyre Forest to update the council’s own working papers. We identified where approaches could be improved, as well as being on hand to answer follow-up queries, on areas such as ensuring the final ledger position was correct.

The Outcome

Well inside the timetable for producing the draft Statement of Accounts, Wyre Forest had a balanced Collection Fund, supported by its own more efficient working papers and verified against LG Futures’ Collection Fund Suite Accounting Tools. The team felt a definite sense of relief at having a more resilient base for going into the 2021/22 audit and a solid starting position to commence its Collection Fund closedown for next year. There is now real excitement in the department about sharing knowledge gleaned with its new generation of accountants.

The Collection Fund has been closed down with a lot less tears and I just wanted to pass on a huge thank you. It was very intensive, BUT a highly rewarding and productive couple of days.

The support and guidance received from the experts at LG Futures throughout has been invaluable. I would not hesitate to recommend this service.

Lisa Hutchinson,
Principal Accountant, Wyre Forest District Council