Press release

Newly improved and ready, says FRAB

A press notice from the Financial Reporting Advisory Board (FRAB)

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The Financial Reporting Advisory Board (FRAB) has published its 15th annual report.

The report highlights actions taken by the FRAB in response to recommendations made within a review report following a formal and independent review of its operations. The changes put in place by the FRAB improve its structure, membership and operational arrangements, to ensure that it remains fit for purpose in its role as an independent advisory body.

In its 2010-11 report, the FRAB commented that it had been subject to a formal review and that it was considering the implications of the recommendations made within the Review Group’s report.

Commenting on this year’s report, Kathryn Cearns, the FRAB Chairman, said:

Following the formal review of the FRAB, I am pleased to report that significant improvements have been made to the FRAB’s structure, membership and operational processes, including enhanced transparency of its operations.

These changes will ensure that the FRAB can continue to deliver effectively in its role as an independent advisory body, and in accordance with its remit.

The report also highlights that during this reporting year, the FRAB welcomed the opportunity to review the first set of audited Whole of Government Accounts (WGA), for 2009-10. The Board looks forward to providing its further advice to help improve the consistency of financial reporting across the public sector, and thus aid the WGA process.

This will help to ensure WGA can fulfil its potential to broaden and deepen available financial information about the public sector above and beyond that provided by the fiscal debt figures, thereby providing a better understanding of the wider liabilities of government and the only overall view of the asset base of the public sector based on a concrete set of high-quality financial reporting standards. The FRAB also hopes to see production of WGA on a progressively more timely basis over the next few years, which will also increase its usefulness considerably.

The report is available online.


FRAB is an independent advisory body set up in 1996 initially to oversee the Treasury Resource Accounting Manual, which set out how Government departments should prepare their resource accounts. Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) placed the planning and control of Government expenditure on an accruals accounting basis – comparable to the way that the private sector manages its finances and prepares its accounts. The Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 placed the Board’s role on a statutory basis.

The Board’s remit has been extended since its inception in 1996 and it now includes the provision of advice on financial reporting standards and principles in respect of:

  • Executive non-departmental public bodies and trading funds
  • Accounts for which the Scottish Ministers and the Department of Finance and Personnel, Northern Ireland are responsible for issuing reporting requirements
  • Accounts of the National Health Service Trusts in England, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • Advice on accounting policies underlying Whole of Government Accounts
  • NHS Trusts in England, Wales, Northern Ireland
  • NHS Foundation Trusts
  • Local Authority accounts across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

The Board comprises:

Chairman: Kathryn Cearns, Consultant Accountant, Herbert Smith LLP

Members: David Aldous, Head of Audit Policy, Audit Commission; Andrew Baigent, Director General for Financial Audit, National Audit Office; Bob Branson, Head of Financial Management, Environment Agency; Andrew Buchanan, Global Head of IFRS, BDO IFR Advisory Limited; Ian Carruthers, Policy and Technical Director, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy; Robert Davidson, Portfolio Director, Monitor; Peter Davies, Assistant Head of Finance, Monmouthshire County Council; Janet Dougharty, Deputy Director Local Government Finance, Department of Communities and Local Government; Russell Frith, Assistant Auditor General, Audit Scotland; Kathryn Gillatt, Finance and Corporate Services Director, Driving Standards Agency; Jean-Christophe Gray, Deputy Director General Expenditure Policy, HM Treasury; Fiona Hamill, Treasury Officer of Accounts, Department of Finance and Personnel Northern Ireland; Sue Higgins, Director-General (Finance and Corporate Services) Department of Communities and Local Government; David Hobbs, Head of Accountancy Advice, Office for National Statistics; Ron Hodges, Professor of Accounting, University of Birmingham; Roger Marshall, Chairman, Accounting Standards Boardl; Janet Perry, NHS Chief Financial Controller, Department of Health; Veronica Poole, Global Managing Director IFRS Technical, Deloitte LLP; Martin Sollis, Deputy Director of Finance, Welsh Assembly Government; Aileen Wright, Deputy Director Finance, Scottish Government.

Parliamentary Observer: Edward Leigh, MP.

Published 29 May 2013