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 2016
Q. What was the main reason for the underspend during 2016?
During 2016, 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 and again in 2017. ARB also had a number of staff vacancies during the year which generated some savings due to the timing of these appointments.
Financial planning for the year also included the funds to deliver a number of projects. However, some of these projects were deferred whilst we awaited 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 was not announced until March 2017.
Q. Why have legal expenses increased in relation to regulation?
Many Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) hearings in 2016 proved to be more complex than anticipated. There has also been an increase in the active involvement of architects in both the regulatory process and defending of their cases, and a rise in their use of legal representation. These factors combined resulted in cases which were longer in duration than in previous years. It is vital that sufficient time is given for the issues in any case to be thoroughly explored, so that sound and fully reasoned judgments are arrived at, and are sufficiently robust should they be challenged on appeal.
Q. Why do you hold money in reserves?
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; any future wind up costs of the organisation and any changes which may be required to progress the government’s periodic review recommendations.
Q. Why was there a significantly large transfer to reserve during 2016?
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 2018?
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.