End-of-year accounts for 2016 – branch audits

Information for honorary branch auditors from UNISON head of audit John Nagle

Branch treasurers have received notification of the procedures to apply on the closedown of the online branch accounts package (OLBA) for 2016.

The branch authorisation sheet which includes the branch auditors’ statement must be signed by the branch auditor and should be sent to:

IMPS Team,

1 Hunts Bank,


M3 1UN.

It must arrive by Wednesday 15 March 2017.

As last year, it is a requirement that photocopies of statements for all balances held in bank, building society, deposit accounts, prepaid cards and/or any other short-term investment accounts at 31 December 2016 be sent along with the authorisation sheet.

Branch auditors act as representatives of your branch’s membership as a whole.

It is essential that auditors are given enough time to complete the audit in time for the branch to meet the 15 March deadline.

They need to make sure that the treasurer knows when they will need to start their audit work and agree a timetable. It is desirable for the audited accounts to have been presented to the branch’s AGM before the deadline date.

Auditors who are UNISON members should ensure that the RMS membership system records their auditor status. If it does not, they should approach their regional RMS team to to update it.

Auditors who are not members – eg, external accountants – should request access to the branch’s OLBA records by email to olba@unison.co.uk.

The branch auditor’s checklist should be used to judge whether you have covered the main aspects of the branch audit.

If further detail is required, please see the OnLine Branch Accounting Audit Programme. This sets out the programme of work a branch auditor should aim to complete.

Depending on how the branch organises its finances, the whole of the programme may not apply – eg many branches operate without petty cash.

The auditor and branch treasurer have the capacity to make changes to the branch accounts up until they take the Generate Authorisation Sheet option in the closedown process.

Branch auditor’s checklist 

OLBA audit programme January 2017

Should you wish to discuss any matters raised please do not hesitate to contact John Nagle, head of audit, on on 020 7121 5367 or Barry Lyons on 020 7121 5404.