Article:

Back flip on audit requirement for aged care industry’s Annual Prudential Compliance Statement

02 June 2017

Kim Colyer , Partner, Audit & Assurance |

Just when the aged care industry thought it had clarity on future financial reporting requirements, the Department of Health has announced a back flip on one of its previously announced requirements.

Late last year the Department announced a draft of new financial reporting arrangements for residential aged care and home care package providers. They have now changed the audit requirements for one of the elements.

The change

The Annual Prudential Compliance Statement (APCS) will now still need to be audited. This change adjusts the Department’s advice previously provided to the sector in relation to the Aged Care Financial Report (ACFR). 

The ACFR will now involve a single template, consolidating the:

  • APCS
  • Survey of Aged Care Homes
  • Home Care Financial Report
  • Short Term Restorative Care Financial Report.

Some consistency remains

While this change adds back some regulatory compliance, other key elements of the previously announced changes remain the same. These include:

  • The General Purpose Financial Report (GPFR) will still be a stand-alone audited report. This report and the independent audited opinion accompanying the APCS must be submitted through the ACFR portal at the same time as the components above
  • Providers of home care who do not also provide residential care will not be required to submit a GPFR. They must only complete the home care section of the ACFR
  • Providers retain the flexibility to choose whether to include each of the components of the ACFR in either their GPFR or the ACFR. It should be noted, though, that it is not possible to partially complete a component in both the GPFR and ACFR. Each individual component of the ACFR (including required line items) must be completed in its entirety in either the ACFR or the GPFR.

Timing

The new arrangements are mandatory for all residential and packaged home care providers for use in the 2016-17 financial year.

Providers who report on a 30 June financial year-end basis must submit their reports under the new arrangements by 31 October 2017.

What providers should do

As I’ve mentioned previously, changes designed to improve financial reporting efficiency for this vital sector are good news. What is needed now is for the path to remain clear and no further changes to be made.

If you have any questions about the application of these new financial reporting arrangements to your organisation, please connect with me.