Explanation of significant variances in AGAR

For those authorities who complete Part 3 of the AGAR, we will look at any significant variances.  This is assessed on a line by line basis based on the 10 lines which form the Accounting Statements in Section 2.

We will ask you to provide explanations of any variance greater than 15% unless the variance is less than £500. So, take the 2019 figure and divide it by the 2018 figure.  If the answer is more than 1.15 or less than 0.85 then you will need to provide an explanation (unless it is under £500).

The explanation needs to provide us with enough information to understand the cause of the variance.  For example, if the precept has increased by more than 15%, please tell us why.  For example, you may be deliberately building up your reserves for an earmarked project.  What is that project, and why do you think your reserves are inadequate?

If the 2018 figure was abnormal and the 2019 figure is more normal, what was it that made 2018 different? 

What we do not want is a list of your expenses for line 6 with comparatives and no explanation.  In these circumstances, we may notice something that looks unusual and which we need to follow up with further questions.  Not only does this slow the process down, but it will also result in additional costs as we will have had to review the extra information you gave us.