What about the money? Do we manage our money well?

Externally audited accounts

  • The financial statements of North Wales Housing for the year ended 31st March 2017 were externally audited by Mazars. Their responsibility is to audit and express an opinion on the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and International Standards on Auditing (UK and Ireland). NWH received a clean audit opinion and all controls are in place.
  • In Mazar’s opinion the financial statements:
    • give a true and fair view of the state of the Group and Parent Association’s affairs as at 31st March 2017 and of the Group and Parent Association’s surplus for the year then ended
    • have been properly prepared in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice;
    • have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 and the Accounting Requirements for Registered Social Landlords General Determination (Wales) 2015

Statement of internal controls

  • In Mazars’ opinion, with respect to the Board’s statement on internal control:
    • the Board has provided the disclosures required by the Welsh Government circular RSL 02/10 ‘Internal controls and reporting’ and
    • the statement is not inconsistent with the information of which we are aware from our audit work on the financial statements.

Financial Forecasting, Sensitivity Testing and Stress Testing

  • Each year, we prepare a 30 year financial forecast on which full stress testing or a sensitivity analysis is undertaken. The 30 Year Business Plan for 2016/17 was subjected to an independent stress test, and both the plan and the results of the stress test were approved by the Board in October 2016.
  • The 30 Year Business Plan for 2017/18 was approved by the Board in May 2017.  This plan was updated in August 2017 to include the opening balances for 2017/18, as set out in the audited financial statements for 2016/17, and set before the Board for approval.  This plan includes a sensitivity analysis.
  • The sensitivity analysis covers such items as changes in inflation, interest rates, and planned maintenance costs, and proves to have an acceptable level of resilience.
  • The Business Plan set before the Board in August 2017 will form the basis of the submission to Welsh Government.

Treasury Management Strategy

  • NWH prepares a Treasury Management Strategy on an annual basis for approval by the Board.
  • In 2017/18 we have determined to prepare a new Funding Strategy for the organisation for approval by the Board.  The existing Treasury Management Policy will be updated, and the Treasury Management Strategy for 2017/18 prepared in conjunction with the new Funding Strategy.
  • The Funding Strategy will seek to streamline the existing loan portfolio, critically examine the balance between fixed and floating rate loans and existing fixed rate hedges, consider new sources of funding, and support more economic and effective cash management.  The Funding Strategy is due for completion by the end of September 2017.
  • NWH considers the conduct of efficient and prudent treasury operations (primarily the borrowing and investing of funds) to be essential in enabling the Association to fulfil its wider business objectives, and strives, at all times, to carry out its treasury activities in accordance with independently recommended best practice.

Monthly Accounts

  • Monthly accounts are prepared and quarterly management accounts are presented to the board for approval.

Rents

  • Universal Credit is in the process of being implemented at varying timescales across all Counties in North Wales. We have employed a further member of staff (Assistant Welfare and Financial Inclusion Officer) to reduce the impact of this. We have done an initial assessment of the impact of the Local Housing Allowance and further work is being undertaken. We are aware of the impacts of this on the pilot projects. The Corporate Risk regarding Welfare Reform has been reviewed and the risk of this to NWH as a result of the review has increased and a more cautious approach will be taken. We will work with our peers to assess the impact.

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What have we achieved in 2015 – 2016?

Looking into the future, what do we plan to do over the next 5 years?

How are we performing?

Do we have strong governance and leadership? Do we manage our risks well?

What key areas do we need to improve in and how we will do this?