The Standard Financial Statement (SFS) is an income and expenditure statement with a single set of spending guidelines. It is intended to replace the Common Financial Statement (CFS) and other financial statement formats, including the one used by StepChange Debt Charity. The SFS will also introduce a savings element, which is designed to build financial resilience.
Led by the Money Advice Service, the SFS initiative is backed by, and being developed in partnership with, advice providers (including AdviceUK), as well as creditors, trade associations and other interested parties.
The SFS Governance Group, of which AdviceUK is a member, has decided not to mandate the use of a Money Advice Service produced Excel template but to allow custom integration. It is hoped that this will smooth the process of implementing the SFS for organisations.
The Money Advice Service is currently asking organisations to estimate timelines for implementing the SFS. A launch date will be announced as soon as it is clear how long it will take the sector to transition to the new tool.
- The Financial Conduct Authority has agreed to update references to the CFS to the SFS in its guidance when the new tool is in use.
- The Insolvency Service has confirmed that the SFS format will be used in its new insolvency gateway
- In Scotland, the Accountant in Bankruptcy has agreed to replace the reference to the CFS with the SFS in Scottish legislation and to adopt the SFS format into its systems by late 2016.
A new standalone SFS website with secure login will go live in 2016 and will include:
- The SFS format
- An Excel tool
- Spending guidelines
- Guidance for advisers
- General info and FAQs
Contact the Money Advice Service
If you have any feedback that you would like to give the Money Advice Service on the SFS, please contact them at sfs.support@MoneyAdviceService.org.uk.