Year-end survey 2018/19
04 September 2019
Our year-end survey of members reveals that the application of two new accounting standards in 2018/19 was time consuming but did not affect NHS bodies' financial performance. The clarified guidance to valuers published in January caused difficulties at the year-end. And a third of respondents reported that the audit process was worse than last year - either because the auditors were slow to sign off the accounts or the audit team was inexperienced.
Our fourth sector wide year-end survey asked about preparedness for the year-end, the application of IFRS 9 financial instruments and IFRS 15 income from contracts with customers, issues which arose during the close-down and audit and then looked ahead to changes in 2019/20 and beyond.
Generally, NHS bodies were well prepared for the year-end. Guidance was available on time and there were few late changes although the publication of clarified guidance for valuers in January 2019 caused difficulties. The new accounting standards were a drain on resources but did not impact on the bottom line. For the second year running, respondents reported issues with their auditors – the timeliness of completion of the audit was a problem as was the knowledge of audit teams.
Looking ahead, NHS bodies are very concerned about the application of IFRS 16 to the public sector in 2020/21.