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HM Treasury issues new financial reporting manual (FReM) and IFRS 16 application guidance

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20 Dec 2019

HM Treasury has issued a revised version of the government financial reporting manual (FReM) 2020-21, together with application guidance on IFRS 16.

The Government Financial Reporting Manual (FReM) is the technical accounting guide to the preparation of financial statements. It complements guidance on the handling of public funds published separately by the relevant authorities in England and Wales (HM Treasury and the Welsh Government respectively), Scotland (the Scottish Government) and Northern Ireland (the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly). The FReM is prepared following consultation with the Financial Reporting Advisory Board (FRAB) and is issued by the relevant authorities.

The 2020-21 edition of the FReM has a revised structure and is now separated into four sections:

  • Part A: Principles, purpose and best practice
  • Part B: The form and content of government annual reports and accounts
  • Part C: Application of accounting standards to government annual reports and accounts
  • Part D: Further guidance for government annual reports and accounts

Other changes include:

  • a new chapter addressing best practice in narrative reporting;
  • clearer guidance on the performance report;
  • introduction of 'comply or explain' requirements in certain areas including the structure of the organisation, risks faced, unit cost data and relevant trend data; and
  • new requirements in respect of IFRS 16 Leases, alongside specific application guidance on IFRS 16

The latest version of the FReM and application guidance are available on the HM Treasury website.

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