The HSE accounts record items of current expenditure and exclude items of a capital nature and are prepared on an Accruals basis. This is a method of recording accounting transactions for revenue when earned and expenses when incurred, so a financial transaction for a period is recognised regardless of when the cash settlement occurs. During the first three months of 2019 the HSE incurred a deficit of €82.7m as actual costs of €3,938.5m were greater than profiled costs of €3,855.7m. Adjusting for the effects of the 2018 1st Charge increases the overall March deficit by €20.5m to €103.2m.
The Exchequer returns include both current and capital items of expenditure are prepared on a Vote (cash) basis. This means receipts are recorded during the period they are received, and expenses are recorded in the period in which they are paid. The Health Vote includes Department of Health, Agencies under its Aegis, and HSE expenditure. During the first three months of 2019 the Health Vote recorded a surplus of €4.4m as net expenditure of €4,176.2m was less than profiled expenditure of €4,180.5m.
Therefore, different methods of accounting and the inclusion of additional categories of expenditure explain the difference between the deficit recorded by the HSE and the surplus by the Health Vote.