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SeRCOP is prepared in accordance with the financial reporting framework established by the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code). It applies to all local authority services throughout the UK from 1 April 2018 for the preparation of 2018/19 budgets and performance indicators.
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Download the full Schedule of Changes for SeRCOP for this year.
SeRCOP is reviewed annually to ensure that it develops in line with the needs of modern local government, transparency, best value and public services reform. This is increasingly important as transparency initiatives and performance and best value regimes are evolving constantly and are expected to become ever more sophisticated.
In England and Wales, SeRCOP is given legislative backing under the Local Government Act 2003. In Scotland, the requirement to follow SeRCOP’s Service Expenditure Analysis (SEA) is specified in the Code and is supported by the Local Government in Scotland Act 2003 requirement to follow proper accounting practices. In Northern Ireland, the SEA is required under the Local Government Finance Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and the Department of the Environment’s Accounts Direction.
Section 2 – the Definition of Total Cost and section 3 – the Service Expenditure Analysis provide the base requirements of SeRCOP for government statistical and other performance reporting purposes, and is fully consistent with the requirements of the Code. Good practice guidance is included as a commentary to section 2. For 2018/19, changes for the England and Wales SEA’s have been made to Children’s and Education Services and Public Health Services (England).
Section 4 includes the recommended standard subjective analysis to help authorities to make effective comparisons for financial reporting requirements.
SeRCOP establishes proper practices with regard to consistent financial reporting for services. It is an official CIPFA statement – all local authorities in the UK are expected to adopt its mandatory requirements and detailed recommendations. It is also expected that CIPFA members will comply with all the mandatory requirements of SeRCOP as it defines best practice in terms of financial reporting for government statistical and other performance reporting purposes.
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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Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom 2017/18