Local government IFRS adoption ‘a significant challenge’

LOCAL GOVERNMENT’S switch to international financial reporting standards has been a success, albeit with significant challenges.

This is the Audit Commission’s verdict on several hundred county councils, emergency services and other public bodies, which it said had “coped well” with the transition.

Both timeliness and quality were affected, with the number of bodies still awaiting an audit opinion six months after the end of the financial year rising from seven last year to 18 in 2011.

Quality was down, with a significant increase in the number of bodies needing to adjust their accounts following audit.

However, Audit Commission chief executive Eugene Sullivan said it was “commendable that there have been no IFRS-related qualified opinions”.

“These bodies have done particularly well to achieve early publication in the first year of the new IFRS accounting requirements. Their performance shows that local government bodies as a whole can improve the timeliness of publishing their audited accounts,” he concluded.

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