Accrual Practices and Reform Experiences in OECD Countries

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Author(s):
OECD, IFAC
24 Feb 2017
Pages:
128
ISBN:
9789264270572 (PDF) ;9789264270558(print)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264270572-en

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Financial reporting is one of the foundations of good fiscal management. High-quality financial reports are essential to ensure that a government’s fiscal decisions are based on the most up-to-date and accurate understanding of its financial position. Financial reports are also the mechanism through which legislatures, auditors, and the public at large hold governments accountable for their financial performance. Over the past two decades, a growing number of governments have begun moving away from pure cash accounting toward accrual accounting to improve transparency and accountability and better inform fiscal decision making. This study reviews and compares accounting and budgeting practices at the national government level in OECD countries. It also discusses both the challenges and benefits of accruals reforms. Finally, it looks at some steps countries are taking to make better use of accrual information in the future. This is a joint publication with the International Federation of Accountants and the OECD.

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  • Foreword and Acknowledgements
  • Executive summary

    The 2016 OECD Accruals Survey (“the Survey”), realised in partnership with the International Federation of Accountants and the Accountability. Now. initiative, takes a broad look at accrual reforms, by analysing not only accounting practices but also budgeting, consolidation, accounting standard setting, and external audit practices. In the wake of two decades of accrual reforms in OECD countries, this Survey is the first to gather feedback from all member countries’ finance ministries on the rationale for deciding to move, or not, to accruals, implementation challenges, and perceived reform outcomes.

  • Analysing and comparing country practices

    This Chapter compares and analyses the accounting basis for government year-end financial reports and budgets, audit techniques, accounting standard setting, and consolidation practices. It also discusses the design of recent accounting reforms, implementation challenges, the strategies and measures to address them, and the benefits expected and achieved.

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