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 2018
1. If your volume of printing has decreased by 18%, what caused the rise in your printing costs?
In an attempt to limit our environmental impact, we introduced measures in 2018 that decreased our volume of internal printing by 18%. However, our printing costs also include external printing. For example, this figure includes the costs of printing the retention fee statutory notice, which is required of us as part of our statutory duties under the Architects Act 1997. As the Register grows the number of notices we need to print grows.
2. What factors affected your land and building costs for 2018?
In 2017, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government recommended that ARB explore co-location opportunities or the possibility of operating from outside London as part of its Periodic Review Report. A scoping exercise was undertaken in 2018 as a result of this recommendation. Locations both in and outside of London were explored. Discussions were also held with our current landlord, which lead to an offer of revised terms that would provide savings on current premises costs as well as the security of a fixed rate rent until 2024. After careful deliberation, the Board decided the best approach was to remain at our current Weymouth Street premises to ensure operational stability at time when significant projects were in progress and Brexit was on the horizon. We will undertake a further review of our property requirements within the next three years.
3. What caused the increase in your legal and professional charges for 2018?
The key costs in this area relate to Professional Standards activities (Regulation) and specialist advice services (Advice/Legal) for activities such as working groups and the auditing of our financial accounts. While our Professional Standards costs have increased from 2017, the below table demonstrates the overall trend since 2015 is for a decrease in costs.
In regards to specialist advice, a significant factor in the increase from 2017 is atypical demands in 2018. This includes demands arising from Brexit, Dame Judith Hackitt’s fire safety review, Mutual Recognition Agreements and periodic or isolated activities, such as preparations for the constitutional change to the structure of our Board.
2015 2016 2017 2018
Regulation £682,652 £724,541 £566,020 £679,337
Advice/Legal £250,161 £253,842 £278,140 £479,543
4. Why was the retention fee increased for 2019 if you had a £97,000 budget surplus at the end of 2018?
The decision to raise the fee was made in September 2018, before we knew with any certainty that there would be a budget surplus at the end of the year.
Wherever possible we use our reserves to try and avoid frequent fluctuations in the retention fee. However prudent financial management requires that depletion of our reserves be a short term measure. Therefore, any surplus made in the year is used to replace the previously utilised funds.
Prolonged use of our reserves is unsustainable. After careful consideration, the retention fee was raised for 2019 to cover the costs of enhancing our protection of title work and to cover unanticipated work demands such as responding to Dame Judith Hackitt’s fire safety review and planning for Brexit.
5. How did you manage to achieve a £23,000 underspend in title regulation?
In 2018, the number of misuse of title investigations rose 56% on the previous year. The underspend in this area is due to the majority of these cases being resolved successfully without the need for expensive prosecutions. As we endeavour to be proportionate and cost effective in our actions, prosecution is only pursued when it is in the public interest and there is sufficient evidence to indicate a reasonable prospect of success. For example, prosecution may be considered to be in the public interest if the person is likely to reoffend or if their actions have caused notable consumer detriment.
6. Why do Board members’ expenses vary?
Board members’ expenses may vary for a number of reasons. For example, our Board represents the whole of the UK, and costs of travel to London will inevitably be higher for someone who is based in Scotland. Another example is that Board members who sit on the Prescription Committee are eligible for a reading allowance, as the role of the Committee is complex and members are required to read a significant amount of material in order to prepare for meetings and undertake reviews of prescription applications.