Accounting change to hit major art galleries

A change in the way that museums and galleries report their heritage assets
is set to wipe £55m from the National Gallery’s balance sheet if it gets the

Institutions can show recently acquired heritage pieces at cost, sparking
criticism from the Accounting Standards Board. It said the figures bore ‘little
or no resemblance to an entity’s collection as a whole,’ as it released
Financial Reporting Exposure Draft 40 requiring all assets or none to be
reported at valuation.

Chris Yates, The National Gallery’s director of resources said: ‘At year-end
of March 2006 our recent acquired assets were valued at £55m, that’s a fairly
meaningless figure.’

Yates believes the reform will provide a more accurate impression of
institutions’ accounts: ‘It doesn’t represent the value of collections as a
whole,’ he said.

Related reading

PwC office 2