Scottish Local Authorities set high standard by successfully implementing new accounting framework

01-12-2011

The current economic environment places significant focus and pressure on the efficiency and sustainability of public sector finances. Against this background the Local Authority (Scotland) Accounts Advisory Committee (LASAAC) has congratulated Scottish local authorities for successfully implementing internationally recognised accounting requirements. 

The adoption of reporting requirements based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in Scottish local government for 2010/11 was a significant challenge for the organisations involved, especially with restrictions on the resources available. The new reporting framework required significant changes in respect of employee benefits, grant income, property and assets held for sale.

IFRS implementation means that Scottish local authorities, along with the rest of the UK public sector, are using internationally recognised financial reporting standards..This is a major step forward in transparency and accountability, and supports the initiative that CIPFA recently launched calling for a co-ordinated and concerted global effort to improve reporting, auditing and public financial management practices by governments around the world.

Chair of LASAAC, Lynn Bradley, said:

“The successful implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards by Scottish local government is of critical importance as the whole public sector moves towards adoption of a common set of underlying accounting standards. The hard work, expertise and professional approach of all those involved achieved a superb outcome for Scottish local authorities.”

 

ENDS

Contact: Tim Windle

CIPFA Press Office

t 020 7543 5787

e tim.windle@cipfa.org.uk

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • The implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the UK public sector was initiated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, at that time Gordon Brown, in the March 2007 Budget.  The CIPFA-LASAAC Local Authority Accounting Code Board determines the accounting requirements for UK local government.  Prior to the adoption of IFRS for local government, the UK Accounting Standards Board (ASB) ensured these requirements complied with UK accounting standards. The new arrangements mean that the government’s Financial Reporting Advisory Board (FRAB) now has an oversight role in reviewing the CIPFA-LASAAC Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting. FRAB also oversees central government reporting requirements as contained in the Government Financial Reporting Manual (FReM).
  • The IFRS-based Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting came into effect from 1 April 2010.. The audit process for the 2010-11 financial statement has just successfully concluded with no qualifications due to IFRS implementation.
  • The Local Authority (Scotland) Accounts Advisory Committee (LASAAC) is constituted of volunteer members representing CIPFA, ACCA, ICAS, Audit Scotland and the Scottish Government.  LASAAC is primarily concerned with the development and promotion of proper accounting practices for Scottish local authorities. A key task in achieving this is LASAAC’s contribution to the development of the ‘Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom’ (‘the Code’).
  • More details on CIPFA’s international prospectus – Fixing the Foundations – can be viewed here. CIPFA argues that weak public financial management is regrettably commonplace in countries at all stages of development. As a result, governments currently grappling with sovereign debt issues, emergency budgets, fiscal stimulation measures, and austerity programmes are often making decisions of strategic long-term significance based on incomplete, inaccurate and/or out-of-date financial information. CIPFA is calling for a co-ordinated and concerted global effort as the only way to address these issues at the scale and pace required to avert further financial failures in years to come.

 

About CIPFA

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.

 

The CIPFA Local Government Directors of Finance Section is the professional forum which comprises the Section 95 Officers under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 of all 32 local authorities in Scotland.  The Section provides opinions on matters concerning the management and operation of Scottish local government finance and also serves as a learning forum for the exchange of experience and information on these issues.

 

The Scottish Local Authorities Chief Internal Auditors Group is the professional networking group for Local Authority Heads of Audit. The purpose of the group is to develop and improve the practice of Internal Audit in Scottish local authorities, police, fire and public transport bodies.