Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom: Guidance Notes for Practitioners - 2017/18 Accounts

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These Guidance Notes offer constructive advice and assistance to practitioners and external auditors on all aspects of the detailed application and implementation of the 2017/18 Code.




Dec 2017



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If you are a CIPFA Publications subscriber ... have you downloaded the Briefing Note to accompany this title?

Download the full Schedule of Changes for the Code Guidance Notes for this year.

These Guidance Notes are your expert support in dealing practically with the preparation of the year-end financial statements and reports that accompany them.

This version provides detailed guidance on the key accounting changes introduced by the 2017/18 Code, and includes updates to:

• Module 1 which has been completely reorganised to reflect the restructure of chapter one (Introduction) in the 2017/18 Code which separately reflects the requirements for each administration.

• Narrative Reporting (Module 3, Section B) to reflect the new principles based approach to Narrative Reporting introduced by the 2017/18 Code for authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with comprehensive guidance provided to assist practitioners in the application of these principles.

• Presentation of Financial Statements (Module 3, Section A) for the Code’s augmented provisions, to confirm the going concern basis of accounting for local authorities. Module 2, Section A (Concepts) has also been updated to provide further clarification guidance on the Code’s provisions. 

• Expenditure and Funding Analysis (Module 3, Section I) to provide additional guidance to further assist practitioners in the preparation of the note.

• The Example Financial Statements (Appendix to Module 3) to augment the format of the Note to the Expenditure and Funding Analysis.

• Housing Revenue Account England (Module 3, Section J) to reflect the requirements of The Item 8 Credit and Item 8 Debit (General) Determination from April 2017 (Item 8 Determination).

• The accounting treatment for Housing Revenue Account depreciation in England (Module 4, Section D) to reflect the new requirements of the Item 8 Determination.

• Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) (Module 3, Section I) to include the latest on the disclosure requirements for DSG and has been developed with the Department for Education (DfE).

• Module 10 – Other Accounting Themes (Section C) provides Informal Commentary and Clarification to include guidance on the order of events for approval and publication of the 2017/18 statement of accounts for local authorities in England as required by the Local Government, England and Wales Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.

Other updates to the 2017/18 Guidance Notes include:

• Module 2 – Concepts and Principles. Section A: Concepts has been updated to include clarification of the treatment of revenue costs under Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) schemes.

• Module 3 – The Financial Statements. Section I: Notes to the Financial Statements is updated to reflect the 2017/18 Code’s clarification in respect of the reporting requirements for significant accounting policies.

• Module 6 – Employee Benefits. Section F: Accounting and Reporting by Pension Funds has been updated to reflect the 2017/18 Code’s requirements for a new disclosure of investment management transaction costs and clarification on the approach to investment concentration disclosure.

In addition, these Guidance Notes have been revised to take account of issues arising from practitioner queries raised through CIPFA’s technical enquiry service.

This publication is available in hard copy (presented as a loose-leaf update pack for your existing binder) and online.

The digital, online version is a bookmarked downloadable PDF of the publication that can be shared throughout your organisation. Customers will need to register and log in to CIPFA’s website to access the publication.

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

A replacement binder/presentation box is also available to purchase.

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