Auditing of direct payments

Part of the direct payment process is the regular auditing of the account. This helps support you to get the most out of the funds being received, use the funds in the appropriate way and guard against any misuse of funds.

Your direct payment funding is paid into a dedicated bank account. There are several types of account:

Self-managed account with a high street bank
The bank account must be separate from your personal monies and be for the sole use of the direct payment.
A prepayment card account
This is with the prepayment card provider used by Trafford Council, Prepaid Financial Services (PFS). The Direct Payment Audit Team have online access to these accounts.
Accountant managed
An accountant holds the funding on the client’s behalf. However, the actual management of the account is retained by you or a ‘suitable person’ (see below).
Fully managed account
This is usually used where a client lacks capacity to manage the funding or the management of their care.

Self-managed and PFS prepayment card accounts

Request for invoices, personal assistant documents and bank-statements
The Audit Team will write to you when the audit of the account is due and will detail the period the audit covers. Documentation will be required for this period.
Self-managed accounts
You will be requested to supply copies of bank statements and all other documents relating to the spend from the account, (i.e., invoices, personal assistant wage slips etc).
PFS (prepayment card)
The Audit Team has access to the PFS website to directly view the bank statement for payments made from the account. The detailed list of transactions from the account will then be downloaded to an audit summary sheet. This document will then be sent to you for you to provide documentation supporting all transactions. A copy of the audit summary sheet is shown in the auditing documentation examples.
Personal assistant signing in and out sheets
Signing in and out sheets for personal assistants may be required where a personal assistant is a member of your family.

Providing documentation

For all accounts we will need to see copies of:

  • Bank statements (self-managed accounts only)
  • Invoices – with any backing documents showing breakdown of charges
  • Pay slips
  • Receipts for services accessed
  • Insurance certificates
  • HMRC documentation
  • Nest payments – confirmation of payment made
  • Signing in and out sheets – where personal assistants are employed

Documentation can be sent via:

  • Royal Mail to:

    Direct Payment Audit Team,
    2nd Floor Sale Waterside,
    Waterside House,
    Sale, M33 7ZF

  • Email to the Audit Officer detailed on the Audit request letter or to

PFS (prepayment card) documents can also be uploaded to the card website.

The requests sent for prepayment card and self-managed accounts allow 14 days for the return of the documentation. Reminders for information will be made every 14 days, if not received. Following a third reminder, your direct payment may be in suspended which would put your services at risk.

Accountant / fully managed accounts

For an accountant / fully managed all documentation of spend from the account will be provided directly from the accountant or fully managed account provider to the Direct Payment Audit Team.

Clarification of direct payment spend

Upon receipt of the documentation the auditor will crosscheck each item with the payments made from the direct payment account. A check will determine if your funding is being used in line with your support plan, ie number of hours being used, rates being paid, HMRC payments made, PA payments made through payroll companies. Checks will also be made to ensure all legal obligations are being fulfilled. Any spend that has not been authorised by Trafford Council could be considered to be a miss-spend and reclaimed through the Trafford Council Sundry Debtor Invoice process.

Direct payment funding is paid ‘NET’ of client contributions. The amount of this contribution has to be made into the same direct payment account as the payments from Trafford Council. This ensures sufficient funds are available to cover the weekly cost of the care plan. Calculations are made to ensure the contribution is being paid correctly in line with the assessed amount.

An audit summary sheet is completed for all types of audit. This details all the transactions, during the period in question. It also details payments into and out of the account and the amount of funding to be retained following the audit. Usually a minimum of 6 - 8 weeks funding will be retained in the account together with any funding that has not been fully used, such as annual respite funding.

If it has been determined that you owe monies to the account (e.g. you have failed to pay the correct amount of client contributions) notification will be sent advising that the funds are required to be paid into the account within 14 days. If this cannot be done, the Direct Payment Audit Team can advise of further options that are available.

Return of audit documents following audit completion

Once the full audit of the account has been completed the auditor will return all documents provided, together will a copy of the audit summary sheet, a client contribution summary sheet and a covering letter. This letter will advise of any actions that are required, when the next audit will be due and the period covered.

Accountant / managed accounts

Accountant managed accounts will be completed as above, clarification of payments made, client contribution payments made etc. The documentation will be held by the Direct Payment Audit Team. Once the full audit of the account has been completed the auditor will send a copy of the audit summary sheet, a client contribution summary sheet and a covering letter. This letter will advise of any actions that are required, when the next audit will be due and the period covered.

Surplus funds

Any surplus funds that are in the direct payment account following the completion of the audit process will be requested to be returned to Trafford Council.

Contact details

If you have any questions or would like more information about direct payments, please contact:

Direct payment brokers:

Direct Payment Audit Team: