Changes to the 2016/17 CIPFA Code of Practice will help standardise local authority financial statements.
CIPFA’s 'Telling the story' project aimed to streamline local authority financial statements and make that financial information more accessible to the reader. This has resulted in a number of changes to the 2016/17 CIPFA Code of Practice.
Significantly, the format of the cost of services section of the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement (CIES) has been amended. Previously, local authorities were required to present CIES in line with CIPFA’s Service Reporting Code of Practice (SERCOP), but under the new requirements, these are to be reported on the basis of the authority's organisational structure.
The 2016/17 CIPFA Code of Practice and code guidance notes do not provide specific guidance for chief constables and police and crime commissioners (PCCs). Subsequently, a number of police bodies have asked how this guidance should be applied to their financial statements, particularly where chief constables and PCCs do not undertake a directorate-based, budget monitoring approach and instead monitor income and expenditure for the organisation as a whole on a subjective basis. This makes it difficult to identify appropriate service segments for the purposes of the new CIES requirements.
On 24 January 2017, representatives from Grant Thornton, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, Surrey Police and Greater Manchester Police met to discuss options and reach a conclusion on how to apply the new requirements for the format of the CIES.
For more information please contact Paul Grady, Head of Police.