Technical Enquiry Service

CIPFA's technical enquiry service provides specialist technical guidance to CIPFA members and registered students across the UK.

The technical enquiry service (TES) provides guidance on matters such CIPFA's professional codes including the statement of financial reporting practice (such as the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting and SeRCOP) other financial reporting issues, governance and audit issues.

Use the service

The Technical Enquiry Service is a service which is exclusively for CIPFA Members and Students. Enquirers are responded to by email.

Before using the service please always check first: CIPFA Bulletins, Local Authority Accounting Panel Bulletins, Frequently Asked Questions and Technical Accounting Alerts.

If after checking the above sources for the most commonly asked questions you still need an answer, please email the technical enquiry service.

Please have your membership or student number to hand when you contact TES.

We aim to answer 70% of queries within three working days; more complex queries may take longer – especially during busy periods. However, at the moment demand is high and therefore TES responses may take a little longer.

TES seeks to be as helpful as possible but it is not, and is not intended to be, a substitute for members' own professional judgement, for independent research or for professional advice. Members (and/or their clients) are therefore advised to conduct further research or obtain professional advice where they consider this appropriate.

Please note TES cannot answer queries involving the provision of a legal view or which are the subject of discussion with the external auditor.

Ethics Advisory Panel

TES also has links to a small list of members who are willing to discuss ethical issues with other members. This is a confidential service and is separate from the Institute. Any advice which may be offered by the panel is not considered to be official CIPFA advice and it is not intended that this advice should have any legal status.

For a query to fall within the scope of the Ethics Advisory Panel it should be about an ethical issue concerning a member's professional conduct in relation to the Standard of Professional Practice on Ethics (PDF, 569 KB).


The TES offers qualified members and registered students a service providing information, guidance on professional issues. The guidance it offers should not be taken as an authoritative interpretation of the law, and does not constitute a definition of proper accounting practice. Answers offered are based solely on the information provided to the TES. All reasonable care is exercised in preparing responses to questions. However, enquirers should always refer to the primary sources before relying on this advice, and check any interpretation of published guidance with their own professional advisors.

Webchat is available Monday to Friday, 09:00 - 17:00 (excluding UK bank holidays).