Welcome to ARB’s audited financial statements page. Please follow the link in the relevant year below to download the accounts in PDF format.
FAQs: Financial Statements 2015
Q. What was the main reason for the underspend during 2015?
A. During 2015, ARB operated with a reduced work force. This was due to a number of factors including the delayed outcome of the Periodic Review, which made it difficult to attract staff due to uncertainty and offering fixed term contracts. Also at the same time, the number of new registrants continued to grow leading to a larger number of Architects on the Register, which resulted in additional income. The increase in registrants enabled us to hold the annual retention fee in 2016.
Financial planning for the year also included the funds to deliver a number of projects. However, these projects were deferred whilst we await the outcome of the Periodic Review. Phase one of the Review concluded during 2014, stating a case remains for continued light-touch regulation based on protection of title. Phase Two of the Review has yet to be concluded.
Q. Is the underspend likely to continue in future years?
A. During 2015, provisional steps were taken to ensure the organisation continued to deliver on its statutory function; however, it is not possible to deliver without sufficient staff numbers, especially with the increase in work load resulting from the growth in admissions to the to the Register. Resourcing levels are being kept under review to ensure we have, and maintain the correct level of skills within the organisation. Recruitment is taking place to get the staffing compliment back to The Board’s approved level (22 Full time members of staff) during 2016.
Q. Why do you hold money in reserves?
A. It is important for any organisation to have funds available to cover any unforeseen events that might arise. ARB is
no exception. The Act does not allow the Board to borrow and so we need to hold reserves to mitigate any risks arising. Reserves are important to help meet unbudgeted expenditure, such as legal challenges, which is something that all regulators face occasionally and any changes required once the outcomes of the periodic review is known.
Q. Why was there a significantly large transfer to reserve during 2015?
A. Funds sitting within reserves consist of both readily accessible funds for the organisation as well as non-cash items. Such provisions are necessitated by financial reporting requirements including depreciation, capitalisation of IT development and software and the need to reflect unrealised gains on investments within the financial statements. This year’s transfer consists of the resulting underspends referred to above and compliance with the appropriate International Accounting Standards.
Q. Will the underspend be taken account of when setting the fee for 2017?
A. The Board has to fulfil its statutory obligations under the Architects Act. To help it meet these obligations, it draws up an annual business plan which sets out its work for the forthcoming year.
We are always conscious of the need to budget wisely and prudently, and we continue to look for areas where we can make efficiency savings without compromising our responsibilities. A thorough review of each area of spend is undertaken on an annual basis to ensure that the services are delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible. This will include looking at what happened in previous years, how the funds were spent, and to identify if savings and efficiencies achieved were one off items or on-going.
The fee must therefore be set at a level which allows us to discharge our statutory responsibilities under the Act and deliver the activities detailed in the business plan.
The Board considers the above matters very carefully before deciding on the fee, as it recognises the need to ensure that the fee is kept to the minimum necessary to enable it to deliver its responsibilities under the Act.
A detailed report was provided to the Board at its May 2016 Meeting, please see agenda item 8 here.