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HM Treasury launched the Simplifying and Streamlining Statutory Annual Report and Accounts project in 2013 with the aim of simplifying and streamlining the presentation of the statutory annual report and accounts produced by central government entities so as to better meet the needs of users. This paper provides an overview of the project undertaken to do this and the detailed proposals for changes that HM Treasury will consult on with an expectation of introducing them for the 2015-16 financial year.
HM Treasury is consulting on the need to simplify and streamline the presentation of all central government annual report and accounts. This refers to the statutory accounts which all entities within central government are required to produce and are laid before Parliament. This includes departmental accounts, the accounts of arms length bodies (for example agencies) and Whole of Government Accounts (WGA). These accounts are prepared using accrual accounting rules and are equivalent to private sector financial statements.
This consultation looks to understand who is currently using public sector accounts, the purpose to which the information in the accounts is put, what information users and potential users would get most value from but isn’t currently reported, and what requirements are most burdensome. Once the consultation closes on 30 August 2013, HM Treasury will focus on improving the accounts so as to better meet the needs of users, based on a clear understanding of the purpose of those accounts. The project also seeks to remove unnecessary burdens from the preparer community.
We would invite views from all users and preparers of central government accounts, including:
- users of public services
- think tanks
- media agencies
- any interested private sector entities
- preparers of central government accounts and
- the wider accounting community