The preparation of housing association accounts in accordance with Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) is challenging. Each year, there are new standards and amendments with the potential to significantly impact the presentation of the accounts, explains Debbie Watson.
To help overcome this challenge, we are pleased to share our model accounts for the social housing sector under Financial Reporting Standard 102 – The Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102) and Housing SORP 2018. These are intended as a best-practice guide to help with the preparation of financial statements. They are applicable for housing associations with year ends from 31 December 2019 onwards – for many of you, this will be 31 March 2020 and that is the year-end modelled in our housing accounts.
We know many of you use these accounts to identify key reporting disclosures and, as always, we have endeavoured to reflect these in these model accounts. This version includes those disclosures required that are commonly applicable, as well as providing additional disclosures that you may want to consider for best practice. We acknowledge that best practice in the sector and the application of accounting standards is constantly developing and there may be detail in the disclosures that we have not covered in this version.
The world of financial reporting has had some changes since the last reporting season, with the new edition of the Housing SORP being published in September 2018 and a new Accounting Direction issued in January 2019. Overall, the key changes from these updates are not likely to be hugely burdensome or significant for most in the sector. However, the devil is in the detail and ensuring that updates are considered with the complexity, size and legal framework of individual housing associations in mind.
This year, we have updated the model accounts for the key triennial review amendments to FRS 102, where relevant to the housing sector, the key changes to the Housing SORP 2018 and Accounting Direction 2019 as they are applicable for periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019, and therefore relevant for your 31 March 2020 year ends.
In addition to this, we have made some incremental improvements, as well as including some additional guidance on best practice in narrative reporting from our observations, and incorporating some of the key messages from the Financial Reporting Council where we consider these to be equally relevant to the housing sector. The main changes from the previous version have been listed in Appendix A to aid readers of these model accounts.
I hope you find the information included useful as you prepare for this year’s reporting.
For further advice on how to prepare your financial statements, please contact Debbie Watson.