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WARNING ON ACCOUNTING CRACKDOWN

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Scottish councils face a crackdown on creative accounting at the hands of the Accounts Commission. ...
Scottish councils face a crackdown on creative accounting at the hands of the Accounts Commission.

Commission chairman Professor Ian Percy told delegates that councils failing to apply the CIPFA/Local Authority Scottish Accounts Advisory Committee code for capital finance would come under close scrutiny.

He said a meeting of the commission last Tuesday had ordered controller of audit Bob Black to assess how far the code is being applied.

Mr Percy was speaking the day after the Accounts Commission qualified the accounts of Lothian RC for the way it had apportioned the cost of collecting the council tax and water charges (LGC, 12 April).

'I am not prepared for the kind of imaginative accounting practices used by the private sector in the 1980s to creep into public finance,' he said.

'Comparable and fairly presented accounts are important and I don't see why, if 90% of bodies follow the accounting code, the other 10% cannot do likewise.'

Professor Percy said he would expect all councils to adhere to the substance of the code.

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