Please note: This consultation closed on Friday 11 October 2013
The 2010/11 Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom (the Code) was the first Code to be based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), adapted as necessary for the public sector. At the same time as this change, it came under the oversight of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board (the FRAB), which reviews the need to adapt IFRS, as well as the Code’s consistency with the Government Financial Reporting Manual (the FReM).
Despite the successful implementation of IFRS, local authority financial statements have suffered similar problems in relation to their complexity and length as those encountered in the private sector and elsewhere in the public sector. Using an IFRS-based framework has the advantage in that it ensures that local authorities and the other public sector bodies covered by the FReM are measured on the same basis as the private sector. However, it is not clear whether all of the disclosures required under IFRS are best suited to users of public sector accounts.
In June 2013 HM Treasury issued a consultation paper; Central Government Annual Reports and Accounts: Consultation on Simplifying and Streamlining the Presentation of Annual Reports and Accounts. CIPFA/LASAAC concurs with the view in the HM Treasury consultation that while there is a need for more transparent, relevant information to assist with external challenge whilst avoiding unnecessary burden on local authority accounts preparers. CIPFA/LASAAC has therefore launched:
to better meet the needs of users, based on a clear understanding of the purpose of those accounts, and to remove unnecessary burdens from local authority preparers. It therefore includes questions for both users and preparers of local authority accounts.
CIPFA/LASAAC is therefore keen to seek the views from all users and preparers of local authority accounts on its short consultation. The consultation period closes on 11 October 2013.
The update of the 2014/15 Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom is the subject of a separate consultation.