Housing associations lead the anti-FRSME invective

CURSORILY GLANCING over the responses to the Accounting Standards Board consultation on standards for SMEs, the eye snags on the words ‘housing association’, repeated over and over.

Of the 290 responses received, more than 100 are from social housing providers, and almost 50 came from were sent by credit unions. These two groups are worried the proposed standards – conceived as the little sister of International Financial Reporting Standards – will force them to prepare accounts in a way that is damaging to the organisation.

Credit unions don’t think they should be classed as publicly accountable; the definition would force them to report under full IFRS, which they say would be a disproportionate burden for small, often volunteer-led community credit groups.

Housing Associations have a fistful of grievances, all of which they say would hack at the health of their balance sheets and tempt banks to raise borrowing rates. With such a vociferous response, it is clear the ASB will have their hands full producing a mutually agreeable set of standards by the end of their consultation period later this year.

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