Local Government Finance Practitioners Technical Update


Event summary

CIPFA’s ‘Practitioner Update’ seminars are intended to assist finance practitioners and managers across Scotland, providing information on the latest accounting and finance developments.


20 March 2017
Starts: 09:55
Ends: 16:25


CIPFA Scotland
160 Dundee Street
EH11 1DQ
[See map]

Standard price

£249.00 excl VAT

*the event has started.

About this event

The March seminar is planned to assist delegates with their preparations for the 2016/17 financial year end as well as a wider awareness of the future challenges in the Scottish local government finance environment. The day starts by establishing the financial context for Scottish Local Government, based on Audit Scotland’s overview reports. The Code of Practice changes that should help authorities to ‘tell the story’, which include the use of management structures in the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement and a new Expenditure and Funding Analysis, will then be outlined.

An audit perspective on the 2016/17 annual accounts process will then be offered, with possible audit focus areas highlighted. This will be followed by an update on Scottish Government issues and policies regarding local government finance.

After lunch the indicators of what constitutes ‘good financial management’ will be reviewed followed by the experience of, and technical accounting issues arising for, Integration Joint Boards. The day will end with a brief round-up of all the latest Scottish local government finance news and developments.

Who will benefit?

Finance practitioners in local government and the wider public sector will all benefit from the combination of technical information and information updates.

CPD hours



09:30 – 09:55   Coffee and Registration

09:55 – 10:00   Introduction by Chair 

10:00 – 10:40   Audit Scotland: The Context for Local Government

Audit Scotland’s overview reports on Scottish local government are key markers for finance practitioners, and will draw more media attention than normal given the impending council elections. In this session the key messages from the recent overview reports will be outlined, with commentary on the challenges ahead and the variation between councils in terms of how they are responding and managing their finances.

10:40 – 11:10   Accounting Code of Practice and Guidance Notes 2016/17 

A review of the changes to the Code Of Practice requirements for 2016/17 including Telling the Story amendments which affect the CIES and the MiRS, removes the Service Expenditure Analysis and involves a new Expenditure and Funding Analysis. The latest guidance on implementing the requirements and other Code changes for 2016/17 will be reviewed in detail to ensure that practitioners are fully informed and prepared.

11:10 – 11:30  Refreshment Break

11:30 – 12:10  The External Audit Perspective

An annual question in finance circles is always ‘what will the auditors say?’. This is the chance to find out as an external audit perspective on the 2016/17 accounts process is provided. The key areas that auditors are likely to focus on, and what authorities can do in preparation, will be addressed.

12:10 – 12:50  Scottish Government

An update will be delivered on the latest Scottish Government finance issues policies to ensure that all the necessary ‘i’s are dotted and ‘t’s are crossed for 2016/17 and that preparations are made for any planned future changes.

12:50 – 13:30  Lunch

13:30 – 14:10  Financial Management in Practice

With cuts in government funding looking likely to continue, councils are under increasing pressure to make the most out of the resources available. This is, of course, at a time when finance staff numbers are often reducing. The combination of these two forces will be the subject of this session as, using the principles of CIPFA’s FM Model, the assessment of an organisation’s Financial Management strengths and weaknesses is discussed.

14:10 – 14:50  Integration 

With 2016/17 being the first full year of joint services across all the Integration Authorities, a review of the financial challenges experienced and overcome will be undertaken. The lessons learned from the 15/16 closure of accounts process will feature, in order to inform preparations for the 2016/17 year end.

14:50 – 15:10  Refreshment Break

15:10 – 15:35  Technical Update

The latest news and developments affecting the Scottish public sector accounting and finance environment, updates from CIPFA, and LASAAC action on financial reporting.

15:35 – 15:45  Chair’s Summing Up and Close


  • Efficiency
  • / Financial management
  • / Professional development