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Accounting for local authorities

Accounting for local authorities 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 the Code of Practice, Statements of Recommended Practice, guidance and news.

We maintain a separate guide to accounting in government and resource accounting.

What's on this page?

  • Code of Practice
  • Useful links
  • Online articles
  • Books and articles from the library

Contact the Library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.

E  library@icaew.com

T  +44 (0)20 7920 8620

Code of Practice

Issuing body

Codes of Practice and Statements of Recommended Practice (SORPs) relating to local authorities are issued by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Local Authority (Scotland) Accounts Advisory Committee (LASAAC).

From 1 April 2010, the IFRS-based Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting will be applied and the guidance will no longer be labelled a SORP.

The CIPFA/LASAAC Local Authority Code Board ‘is established as a standing committee of CIPFA and LASAAC for the purpose of preparing, maintaining, developing and issuing the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting for the United Kingdom’. The board has published an outline of the annual Code-setting process and other guidance material.

Sources for the Code and associated guidance

There is no free, online full text source for the Code. However, copies are available in the Library.

Useful links


Public Sector Group
The special interest group provides practical support to chartered accountants within the sector. It offers news updates, technical guidance and publications, as well as conferences and seminars.


Simplification and streamlining the presentation of Local Authority financial statements
Guidance from CIPFA aimed at CFOs to help them present financial statements to members and key stakeholders.

Archived documents

Previous editions in print of the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting are available from the Library.


Supplementary Single Issue Consultation on 2013/14 Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom: Accounting for business rates retention (England and Scotland only)
Consultation on proposed amendments to the Code in relation to business rates retention schemes introduced by the Local Government Finance Act 2012. The consultation ended in February 2013. 


The Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the UK: 2012/13 Code update and 2013/14 Code – Invitation to comment
Update to the 2012/13 Code and exposure draft on proposed amendments to the 2013/14 Code. The consultation closed in October 2012.


The Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom 2011/12 Code Update and 2012/13 Code – Invitation to Comment
Update to the 2011/12 Code and exposure draft on the proposed amendments to the 2012/13 Code. The consultation ended in September 2011.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use. 

Articles are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users.

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans. You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post, fax or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you are looking for?

If you're having trouble finding the information you need, ask the Library & Information Service. Contact us by telephone on +44 (0)20 7920 8620, by web chat or by email at library@icaew.com.

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