The SNP has revealed it is on course to meet the deadline to submit audited accounts but they will contain a “qualification”.
The “qualification” relates to missing documentation for “membership, donations and raffle income” for 2022 and 2021 – meaning that this aspect of the party’s income has not been fully audited.
However, the SNP insist that it has responded to auditors’ administrative recommendations, and that there is no suggestion of misappropriation of funds.
On Friday, a spokesperson for the party said: “The audit contains one qualification relating to one stream of income due to administrative processes, resulting in a limitation in scope of the audit.
“There is no suggestion that the accounts do not present an accurate picture of the party’s financial position.”
The party signed a new contract with the AMS Accountants Group ahead of an Electoral Commission deadline on July 7, when the party must submit its accounts or face a fine by the regulator.
The firm replaced Johnston Carmichael, which resigned in September following a review of its clients – something that First Minister Humza Yousaf only found out after he became leader in March.
Members of the SNP national executive committee (NEC) met on Thursday evening and approved the accounts.
The most recent accounts are expected to be published by the Electoral Commission at a later date.
MP Stuart McDonald was appointed party treasurer following the resignation of Colin Beattie, who was arrested and released without charge amid the ongoing police investigation into the SNP’s finances.
McDonald said: “I’m pleased to confirm that the Scottish National Party’s accounts have been approved by NEC for the year 2022 and we are in a position to meet our statutory obligations.
“The SNP’s main source of income remains our membership – which we are immensely grateful for.”
He said the party had made “administrative changes” in line with auditors’ recommendations which would contribute to the SNP’s ongoing governance review ordered by Yousaf.
McDonald added: “Against the backdrop of a Tory-made cost of living crisis and a decade which has seen eight election campaigns, the people-powered SNP campaign has faced challenges but we are optimistic of a return to surplus in the next set of accounts and will be more than ready for the next electoral challenge.”
The Electoral Commission said it had not yet received the SNP’s accounts but it would publish them “as soon as practicable”.