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Consolidating Public Accounts - Tracey Carroll, Australia

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This presentation was made by Tracey Carroll, Australia, at the 19th OECD Senior Financial Management and Reporting Officials Symposium held at the OECD Conference Centre, Paris, on 4-5 March 2019

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Consolidating Public Accounts - Tracey Carroll, Australia

  1. 1. 1 Consolidating Public Accounts in Australia Challenges & Success Factors TRACEY CARROLL First Assistant Secretary Australian Government Department of Finance
  2. 2. 2 CONTENTS ADOPTION CHALLENGES & SUCCESSES QUESTIONS CONSOLIDATED REPORTING IN 2019
  3. 3. 3 ADOPTION DRIVERS & ENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXT •1996 National Commission of Audit • Australian Parliament’s Joint Committee of Public Accounts 1995 Report: ‘Financial Reporting for the Commonwealth: Towards Greater Transparency and Accountability’ BENEFITS ANTICIPATED • Improved understanding of the long term financial effects of government decisions • Create a single reference source • Enable medium to long term trend analysis • Enable assessments of Government’s performance in their stewardship of resources • Enhance transparency and strengthen accountability PROCESS & TIMING • 1996 - Trial whole of Australian Government financial statements prepared for the National Commission of Audit • 1998-99 - Consolidated Financial Statements fully audited • 1999 - Australian Government implemented accrual budgeting
  4. 4. 4 1. BUDGET ESTIMATES 2. ANNUAL ACTUALS 3. MONTHLY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS CONSOLIDATED REPORTING IN 2019 Budget Update Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) Update Final Budget Outcome (FBO) Consolidated Financial Statements (CFS)
  5. 5. 5 CHALLENGES & SUCCESSES: Two accrual based standards o ABS GFS o AAS Harmonised AASB 1049 Whole of Government and General Government Sector Financial Reporting standard resulted in a single set of financial statements Uniform Presentation Framework (UPF) Public Sector Reporting Requirements Capability & Capacity Financial Management Information System Timeliness Continued Focus on Cash
  6. 6. 6 CHALLENGES & SUCCESSES: Public Sector Reporting Requirements Capability & Capacity Financial Management Information System Timeliness Continued Focus on Cash Insufficient accounting skills within Government o Niche skill set Established long term partnerships with private sector Department of Finance supports entities with training, technical support & publication of guidance materials
  7. 7. 7 CHALLENGES & SUCCESSES: Public Sector Reporting Requirements Capability & Capacity Financial Management Information System Timeliness Continued Focus on Cash 2017 - Our third customised accrual financial management information system went live Off-the-shelf software was not suitable Budget process demands a tailored platform
  8. 8. 8 CHALLENGES & SUCCESSES: Public Sector Reporting Requirements Capability & Capacity Financial Management Information System Timeliness Continued Focus on Cash Given the complexity of the task, timeframes are always tight Iterative improvements have been made over time Communication, planning and project management is key
  9. 9. 9 CHALLENGES & SUCCESSES: Public Sector Reporting Requirements Capability & Capacity Financial Management Information System Timeliness Continued Focus on Cash Cash surplus/deficit remains the key focus In recent years, there has been an increased focus on balance sheet measures and accrual aggregates The benefits anticipated to be achieved by producing consolidated accounts in Australia have largely been achieved
  10. 10. 10 Discussion and Questions

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