Accounting for registered social landlords or social housing providers is a specialist area that requires expertise and an understanding of the sector. On this page you can access a range of articles, books and online resources providing quick links to Statements of Recommended Practice, guidance and background information.
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Statements of Recommended Practice (SORPs) relating to registered social housing providers and landlords are issued by the National Housing Federation (NHF), Community Housing Cymru and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA).
Housing SORP 2014: Statement of Recommended Practice for registered social housing providers
Updated version of the SORP published in September 2014, reflecting new UK GAAP. The SORP will be effective for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2015. The full text of the updated SORP is available to download for ICAEW members and ACA students, but can also be purchased through the National Housing Federation's online store.
The previous version of the SORP, Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP): Accounting by Registered Social Housing Providers: Update 2010, is also still available to download for ICAEW members and ACA students.
Affordable housing provider model accounts – Housing properties carried at valuation
Sample report and financial statements under FRS 102 applicable to housing associations for year ends from 31 March 2016 onwards, produced by Grant Thornton.
Affordable housing provider model accounts – Housing properties carried at historical cost
Sample report and financial statements under FRS 102 applicable to housing associations for year ends from 31 December 2015 onwards, produced by Grant Thornton.
The accounting direction for social housing in England
Guidance published by the Homes & Communities Agency on accounting requirements for private providers of social housing. Updated in October 2015.
FRC comments on issues arising in relation to accounting for social housing loans
Comment issued by the FRC in June 2016 relating to the classification of loans as ‘basic’ or ‘other’ by registered providers of social housing, which then impacts on whether the loans are measured on a cost or a fair value basis.
Practice Note 14: The audit of housing associations in the United Kingdom
Guidance issued by the FRC in January 2014.
Housing SORP 2014: Invitation to comment on revised impairment guidance
Announcement made by the NHF in April 2014 inviting responses to draft SORP guidance. The guidance was significantly revised following comments on the SORP 2014 exposure draft. The draft section Impairment of assets is available to download. The consultation period closed in June 2014.
Exposure draft Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP): Accounting by registered social housing providers
Final exposure draft of the proposed 2014 SORP, issued by the National Housing Federation in November 2013. The consultation period closed in February 2014.
Housing SORP 2014: invitation to comment
National Housing Federation news update issued in April 2013 announcing consultations on proposed changes to the SORP in line with FRS 102.
Practice Note 14: The audit of registered social landlords in the United Kingdom
Practice note issued by the APB in March 2006. In March 2012, the APB announced the withdrawal of this document (in PN 161). It was withdrawn because references to laws, regulations and ISAs (UK and Ireland) are outdated. The board has formed a working party to develop a completely updated Practice Note on this subject.
The accounting direction for social housing in England from April 2012: Analysis of responses from the consultation ending August 2012
Report published by the Homes & Communities Agency in September 2012.
The proposed revised Accounting Direction for social housing in England from April 2012
Second consultation document published by the Homes & Communities Agency in July 2012 on proposed changes to the accounting requirements for private providers of social housing, under section 127 of the Housing and Regeneration Act.
The Proposed Revised Accounting Direction for Social Housing in England from April 2012
Consultation document published by the Tenant Services Authority in December 2011 setting out proposals for changes to the accounting requirements for private registered providers of social housing.
Consultation on the RSL SORP Exposure Draft
Consultation and exposure draft of proposed revisions to the SORP. Published in Spring 2010 by the NHF, Community Housing Cymru and the SFHA.
Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP): accounting by registered social housing providers: Update 2010. The new edition includes changes that have been made to Financial Reporting Standards and other accounting practice since the last SORP update and covers component accounting, impairment, business combinations and the capitalisation of works to existing properties.
SORP consultation exercise
Information and associated documents on the NHF consultation in February 2009, including:
Impairment in the social housing sector (SHSC 01/09)
Technical helpsheet issued by the ICAEW in February 2009 to assist practitioners and registered social landlords identify current thinking on impairment issues highlighted by the current economic climate. The helpsheet was withdrawn in 2013.
The helpsheet provides the views of the Institute's Social Housing Committee but ‘does not represent the views of the Financial Reporting Committee and is not issued as a technical interpretation of accounting standards but rather a practical approach to some of the current questions exercising practitioners and RSLs’.
A further note states that:
In no circumstances should the contents of this paper be taken to supersede or contradict the requirements of Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 11 Impairment of Fixed Assets and Goodwill or those of the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) Accounting by Registered Social Landlords 2008, both of which any reader of this paper should refer to for more definitive guidance.
Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP): Accounting for registered social landlords 2008
Information from the NHF on the SORP 2008 which replaces the 2005 SORP Update.
Statement of recommended practice accounting for registered social landlords- invitation to comment and exposure draft of the 2007 SORP (ICAEW REP 74/07)
Memorandum of comment submitted in August 2007 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, in response to the NHF's Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting for Registered Social landlords; Invitation to Comment and Exposure Draft of the 2007 SORP published in May 2007.
RSL SORP update 2007 (ICAEW REP 59/06)
Memorandum of comment submitted in October 2006 by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, in response to the NHF's consultation paper SORP Update 2007 published in July 2006.
NHF moves to make shared ownership finances clearer (Inside Housing)
Article published in Inside Housing on 27 July 2006 reporting on the publication of an exposure draft of the 2007 SORP which includes ‘proposed reforms that should make associations’ shared ownership activity clearer’.
The NHF began consulting housing associations and other interested parties on a new third (2007) edition of the SORP for registered social landlords on 21 July 2006. The following publications were released:
The consultation period closed on 28 August 2007.
The accounting requirements for Registered Social Landlords: General Determination 2006
Full text of the general determination, as published on 4 May 2006 by the Housing Corporation. The determination includes three appendices which give the format of the balance sheet, format of income and expenditure account, and a suggested format for the disclosure of RCGF and DPF balances. The general determination was announced in Circular 01/06: Accounting requirements for Registered Social Landlords
Associations to publish private sector reviews
Article published in Inside Housing on 7 June 2005 reporting on the publication of the 2005 SORP and the call for large associations publish more financial information.
The accounting requirements for registered social landlords: General determination 2005 (PDF 45.95kb/6 pages)
Housing Corporation consultation paper published in May 2005.
According to the NHF website, ‘the 2005 SORP Update replaces the 2002 Update and reflects changes in Financial Reporting Standards and other accounting practice, together with key developments and practices in the social housing sector. Highlights of the Update include accounting guidance on: FRS 17 Retirement benefits, Detailed and explicit guidance on capitalisation of fixed assets, Operating and Financial Review, The accounting treatment of agreements to purchase improved property from a third party.
The SORP interprets UK Generally Accepted Accounting Practice for social landlords. The 2005 SORP Update has integrated the new and previous SORP guidance and applies to accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2005, although earlier adoption is recommended’.
Accounting for Supporting People (PDF 828.65kb/12 pages)
Good Practice Note published in February 2003 by a partnership of the Housing Corporation and the NHF. The good practice note details the accounting treatment to be used ‘by housing association and voluntary sector providers of Supporting People services’.
The accounting requirements for registered social landlords: General Determination 2000 (PDF 87.68kb/24 pages)
Full text of the General Determination 2000, as published by the Housing Corporation in February 2001.
The General Determination 2000 was announced in Circular R2-04/01: Accounting requirements for registered social landlords on 26 February 2001. The General Determination 2000 superseded the requirements of the Accounting Requirements for Registered Social Landlords General Determination 1997 and 1998. The General Determination 2000 was superseded by the General Determination 2006 on 4 May 2006.
Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.
Housing SORP: FRS 102 valuations and accounting impacts
CCH Daily, May 2015
The new housing SORP opens doors to complex valuations due to FRS 102 and social landlords need to understand the impacts on accounts during transition. This article examines key topics, including government grant accounting and financial instruments, with examples. Available online to Accountancy Daily subscribers or in print from the Library.
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