Departments shun plans for ‘shadow’ IFRS

Ministry of Defense, London

Ministry of Defense, London

Major government departments are set to opt out of planned ‘shadow’
accounting under IFRS, scheduled in preparation for a final switch to
international standards.

The Department of Health and the Ministry of Defence are understood to have
issues about being ready in time.

Government had planned to move its accounting system to IFRS, but delayed
making the final switch this year after it became clear that the DoH and the MoD
were not ready for the changeover.

Instead, it was thought the departments would produce shadow accounts under
IFRS. But both departments are in discussions with the Treasury to also opt out
of this.

‘With the DoH, it is different structurally to other government departments,
so shadow accounting in IFRS would be a bit more difficult,’ a source familiar
with government accounting said.

A spokesman for the Department of Health refused to confirm or deny whether
the department had begun its shadow accounting exercise.

A Treasury spokesman said government intended to move to IFRS in 2009/10, as
announced in the 2008 Budget. ‘It is expected that a large number of departments
will introduce shadow accounting prior to its introduction,’ he said.

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