New Australian budgetary disclosure requirements

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06 Mar 2013

The Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) has issued two new standards in order to specify budgetary disclosure requirements for various government entities. In developing the standards, the AASB decided against using the equivalent International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS).

Under its legislative requirements, the AASB has the mandate to develop accounting standards for the Australian not-for-profit sector, including the government sector.  The new standards resulted from a consultation process which included the publication in June 2011 of Exposure Draft ED 212 Not-for-Profit Entities within the General Government Sector.

The new requirements incorporate the existing budgetary reporting requirements from AASB 1049 Whole of Government and General Government Sector Financial Reporting, but extends them to not-for-profit entities within the General Government Sector (GGS), including government departments and statutory authorities. In doing so, the AASB seeks to improve the financial reporting by those entities in the relatively short term.  The AASB may consider further extending the requirements to other entities such as local governments and not-for-profit entities controlled by government outside the GGS as a separate project.

The Basis of Conclusions on the Standard notes the following regarding the equivalent International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS):

The Board considered the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board’s IPSAS 24 Presentation of Budget Information in Financial Statements and concluded that it does not provide an appropriate basis for budgetary reporting in the Australian environment, particularly because it gives primacy to the budget basis of presentation and classification over the accounting basis of presentation and classification and contemplates explanations of variances being disclosed outside the financial report.

The new standards apply to annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 July 2014.

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