IFRS 15 - Revenue from Contracts with Customers

As a Local Authority, we are required to assess the impact of IFRS 15 on our accounts, and I would be grateful if anyone could share any tips that could help us with this work.

  • Unless you have a very unusual revenue source this is extremely unlikely to affect you, but you do need to spend a day going on a wild goose chase to prove there's no goose.

    What I did was downloaded a trial balance for the I&E of all the income codes and did a spreadsheet. Then I added some columns - firstly, was the amount on the code an exchange or non exchange transaction ( see the flowchart in the guidance notes page 50). So council tax, government grants, fees and charges under statue, bequests and donations can all go into the 'does not apply' pile. So if something was an exchange transaction, onto the next test which is materiality. Get your audit planning letter out and find out the level of triviality for your accounts this year and the level of materiality. Check out any balance greater than your triviality limit. Drill down into the transactions and see what's there. If its leisure centre fees or parking, there's no need to test the income - the service is received at the point of payment. If its a contract have a quick peak, if the contract brings in the income in line with the service being delivered, all good. Verify what you've checked and keep copies for the auditors.

    What you're looking for is anything where you're currently recognising income before the service has really been delivered so alongside this, have a word with your head of contracts: have you ever signed up to an uncertain income stream where you've been given a lot of moeny ahead of time, and there's some question about whether you should recognise it all upfront or over time. If you have, chances are some predecessor setup the accounting so that you put it into a reserve or prepayment account somewhere and draw it down evenly. If not. that's the only place which is going to yield anything you might need to adjust for here.

    If in doubt just post back on here but remember that this is a test to catchout the private sector, not us. Unless you have a very unusual income stream auditors are going to be sympathetic to the view that nothing is material enough to adjust for. So don't waste too much time implementing an FRS which is intended to catch out fraud in the private sector!