Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom 2017/18

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Summary

This Code is prepared under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), which have been adopted as the basis for public sector accounting in the UK. The 2017/18 Code has been developed by CIPFA/LASAAC and has effect for financial years commencing on or after 1 April 2017.

Format

Book

Published

Apr 2017

Author

CIPFA/LASAAC

£320.00

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If you are a CIPFA Publications subscriber or wish to view the online version click here.

Download the Forthcoming Provisions for IFRS 9 and IFRS 15 PDF to accompany this title

Local authorities in the United Kingdom are required to keep their accounts in accordance with ‘proper (accounting) practices’.

This is defined, for the purposes of local government legislation, as meaning compliance with the terms of the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code). The 2017/18 Code has been developed by CIPFA/LASAAC and has effect for financial years commencing on or after 1 April 2017.

The Code specifies the principles and practices of accounting required to prepare a Statement of Accounts which gives a true and fair view of the financial position and transactions of a local authority. The Code is updated annually.

This 2017/18 edition of the Code introduces new, or amended, accounting standards or reporting requirements in a number of areas, in particular:

  • Amendment to section 3.1 (Narrative Reporting) to introduce key new reporting principles for the Narrative Report.
  • A restructure of chapter one (Introduction) to separately present the requirements of each of the administrations across the UK.
  • Following the amendments in the Update to the 2016/17 Code, changes to sections 4.2 (Lease and Lease Type Arrangements), 4.3 (Service Concession Arrangements: Local Authority as Grantor), 7.4 (Financial Instruments – Disclosure and Presentation Requirements) and Appendix B (Sources and Legislation) for the Local Authority (Capital Finance and Accounting) Scotland Regulations 2016.
  • Updates to section 3.4 (Presentation of Financial Statements) to clarify the reporting requirements for accounting policies and going concern reporting.
  • Amendments to section 6.5 (Accounting and Reporting by Pension Funds) to require a new disclosure of investment management transaction costs and clarification of the approach to the investment concentration disclosure.
  • Following the amendments in the Update to the 2016/17 Code, changes to section 3.5 (Housing Revenue Account) to reflect the Housing Revenue Account (Accounting Practices) Directions 2016 disclosure requirements for English authorities.

The Code applies formally in Great Britain to local authorities, fire authorities (England and Wales), joint committees and joint boards of principal authorities. In Northern Ireland it applies to all district councils. The Code also applies to police and crime commissioners and other police bodies, as relevant.

In England and Wales, the Code constitutes proper (accounting) practice under the terms of section 21(2) of the Local Government Act 2003. In Scotland, the Code constitutes proper accounting practice under section 12 of the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003. In Northern Ireland, the status and authority of the Code derives from regulation (2) the Local Government (Capital Finance and Accounting) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2011, the Local Government (Accounts and Audit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 and through the relevant accounts direction issued by the Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland).

The Code is available in hard copy and online.

The digital, online version is available as both searchable HTML and a bookmarked downloadable PDF of the publication that can be shared throughout your organisation.

Details of licensing arrangements for other categories of purchaser, which includes those organisations operating shared service arrangements, are available from CIPFA’s Publications Department.

PLEASE NOTE: This year the 2017/18 Code will be issued with a companion publication which sets out the changes to the Code for the two new international financial reporting standards (IFRSs) IFRS 9 Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers.

There will be substantial changes introduced by the adoption of these standards especially a new classification model for financial assets and a new expected impairment loss model under IFRS 9. IFRS 15 establishes a new comprehensive framework for revenue recognition. This publication has been issued to provide local authorities with time to prepare for these significant changes.

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