What We Do

Our aim is to provide bespoke and affordable solutions based on your own individual circumstances.

This is just a selection of what we can offer:

Year-end reporting

Peter is a member of LAAP and has contributed to Code Guidance Notes for practitioners. Working as a consultant, Peter was proud to be part of the team that enabled Westminster City Council to be the first local authority to publish its audited accounts in both 2014/15 and 2015/16.

Poor presentation, arithmetic slip-ups and failure to meet Code requirements can easily be avoided but are the most common cause of late adjustments, additional fees and adverse audit reporting. Peter has worked proactively with a number of local authorities to raise the quality of financial reporting and closedown processes and has developed a range of tools and templates to improve audit trail and highlight areas of inconsistency or non-compliance.

He has also successfully negotiated complex technical accounting issues through provision of formal accounting views, advice on accounting entries and meetings with external audit.

Capital Accounting and Financing

Peter’s specialist skills lie in:

Undertaking MRP reviews to identify ways for councils to reduce the call on the General Fund for debt repayment while still meeting all statutory requirements and maintaining prudent financial management. These reviews can reduce MRP charges by up to 2% of total loans outstanding.

Accounting for treasury management and financial instruments through in-depth knowledge of the interface between the local authority capital finance regime and proper accounting.

PFI and lease accounting. Peter co-wrote two Audit Commission audit guides for the private finance initiative and has undertaken many reviews of PFI and lease accounting arrangements at local authorities.

Ensuring that fixed asset registers are set up to meet Code and IFRS requirements

Pensions

Peter has been a long-standing member of CIPFA’s Pensions Advisory Network and is a popular speaker at pensions training events. He has been the main author of CIPFA’s Example IFRS-based Pension Fund Accounts since 2013 and has co-authored guidance on LGPS management cost disclosures and annual reports.

Peter has overseen production of LGPS year end accounts and annual reports at two London Boroughs and has provided guidance on asset pooling arrangements.

Collection Fund and Local Tax Collection

In 2014 Peter carried out improvement work at a London Borough to:

improve Collection Fund accounting and the accuracy of NNDR returns

develop a methodology for calculating complex NNDR appeal provisions

ensure that suspense and holding accounts were promptly cleared and balances reconciled

systemise allocation and recording of cash collection activities

improve in-year financial reporting to members and senior management

update accounting policies on cash collection, bad debts and arrears

As a result local tax arrears fell by £16m.

Training and Mentoring

Peter has developed and delivered training for the Audit Commission, Audit Scotland, CIPFA, and local authorities (both staff and elected members) as well as private sector organisations including BPP and Kaplans. He is an in-demand speaker and has delivered presentations and workshops at numerous accounting conferences. Peter firmly believes that training is more successful when it is delivered interactively to small groups based on real-life scenarios reinforced by practical exercises.

Peter has also undertaken one-to-one mentoring and coaching for chief accountants, section 151 officers and audit committee chairs at individual local authorities.

Help Desk

Peter understands that for practitioners access to high quality, accurate and timely and focussed advice on specific issues is paramount and is proud to offer a helpdesk service on either an annual subscription or a pay as you go basis.

Waste Disposal Authorities

A large project spanning two years at a major waste disposal authority has helped to:

improve capital accounting and fixed asset records
develop a robust methodology for closed landfill site provisions

improve speed of closedown and the quality of working papers

improve internal systems of financial control

establish correct accounting for service concession arrangements

develop capital financing and MRP calculations

Passenger Transport

Peter has worked with all of the English integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives to help improve the quality of financial reporting in this sector. He has provided advice on specific accounting issues included asset (tram and infrastructure) valuations, PFI and lease arrangements and group accounting arrangements. Peter advised South Yorkshire PTE on accounting aspects of “Supertram”, the Metrolink tram system for Transport for Greater Manchester and capital grant accounting for South and West Yorkshire PTEs and ITAs.

Police and Fire Authorities

Peter advised the Home Office on the introduction of FRS17 accounting for police authorities which led to secondary legislation and has worked closely with GAD on their approach to IAS19 valuations.

Peter has also provided guidance to many police and fire authorities on issues such as top-up grant and IAS 19 accounting, leasing and PFI issues, Regional Fire Control Centres, group accounting, joint ventures and the accounting implications of police and crime commissioner reforms.

Housing

By encouraging housing authorities to review stock valuation, component accounting and depreciation methods, Peter has enabled authorities to identify significant savings in revenue expenditure and future-proof HRA balances.

Peter has advised more than 50 local authorities on the accounting implications of large and small scale housing transfers, most recently at Wycombe DC, South Lakeland DC and Rochdale MDC.

National Parks

Peter has developed and delivered a number of chief accountants workshops specifically tailored to the needs of national park authorities.