Accounting for coronavirus

Rob Griffiths, Deputy Chief Executive & Chief Financial Officer at Longhurst Group, writes about the impact of coronavirus on reporting for audit and accounts teams.

As we head in to the traditional financial reporting season, finance and audit teams have been experiencing a vastly different end process to anything like we’ve experienced before.

A key area of focus for our organisation this year had been on impairment and going concern reviews – particularly on commercial development activity. The removal of the material uncertainty clause on EUV valuations is helpful but the position for market sale properties remains unchanged.

For any market sale properties, being able to evidence there is no impairment at the balance sheet date is inherently more difficult this year. Sales activity in some parts of the country in the last few weeks seems to have been more positive than expected and has proved helpful in supporting the carrying value of assets at the end of March 2020.

Perhaps one of the surprises of this year-end process has been the valuation on the Defined Benefit pension schemes. In common with other providers, the results for the SHPS valuation for our organisation showed a 55% drop in the deficit over the last year. Explaining what’s happened over the last year and why the results are as they are is an important area of focus – this is especially so as we head towards the triennial valuation later on this year where the results are likely to look very different.