An extra headache for accounts teams this year!

Alignment legislation requires the Department of Health to consolidate the accounts of provider organisations into the Department's resource account for the first time this year.

This means that SHAs PCTs providers FTs and arms length bodies must all agree each others balances in order for the accurate and timely completion of the Department's accounts this year.

NHS Trusts PCTs and SHAs had until the start of this week Monday 23 April at 12 noon to submit unaudited schedules to the DH and FTs had until 9am on 23 April to submit unaudited accounts and consolidation schedules to Monitor.

The DH and Monitor helpfully issued joint supplementary accounting guidance by way of a Dear colleague letter. What a shame that this letter (dated 4 April 2012) arrived after many deadlines set out in the Timetable for required steps (which appears in Annex A of the letter).

CCGs should take note of these new requirements and learn from any lessons experienced by their PCT this year.

With the Easter Bank Holiday period falling in the mist of the deadlines and just after the joint guidance was issued it is likely to mean that accounting teams across a spectrum of NHS and arm's length bodies face a difficult few weeks until the (final) deadline of 12 noon on Wednesday 2 May 2012 to correct all variances identified.

Let's hope the minions are more on top of things than the Department!

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