5517.0 - Information Paper: Accruals-based Government Finance Statistics, 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/03/2000   
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Contents >> Chapter 1. Introduction

1.1. With the release of the 1999–2000 issue of Government Financial Estimates (Cat. no. 5501.0), the ABS will implement major changes to government finance statistics resulting from the adoption of an accrual accounting basis. The change in the accounting basis from a predominantly cash to an accrual basis is fundamental and its major effects are reflected by a shift in focus from analytical measures such as the ‘Deficit’ to ‘Net Operating Balance’, ‘Net Lending/Borrowing’ and ‘Increase in Net Worth’. Underlying this shift in analytic focus will be a revised GFS conceptual framework and related GFS classifications.

1.2. The change in the GFS recording basis has been driven both by the adoption of accrual accounting for the general government sector by Australian governments and the need to align the Australian GFS to revised international statistical standards. Over recent years, Australian governments have progressively introduced various Australian Accounting Standards that have required the adoption of an accrual basis and introduced (in AAS 31) the concept of reporting for the whole of government to give an overview of each government’s financial performance. The relevant accounting standards are:

      • Australian Accounting Standard 27 (AAS 27): Financial Reporting by Local Governments
      • Australian Accounting Standard 29 (AAS 29): Financial Reporting by Government Departments
      • Australian Accounting Standard 31 (AAS 31): Financial Reporting by Governments

1.3. Chapter 2 discusses the revised international statistical standards. The relevant standards are the System of National Accounts 1993 and the IMF’s A Manual on Government Finance Statistics, which is currently being revised.

1.4. Chapter 3 discusses the new conceptual framework including the new analytical balances (Net Operating Balance, Net Lending/Borrowing, Net Worth, Increase in Net Worth, Surplus/Deficit) and the main statements (Operating Statement, Statement of Stocks and Flows, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement).

1.5. Chapter 4 explains the impact of the changes, with emphasis on the impact on the GFS time series.

1.6. Chapter 5 discusses the redesign of ABS GFS publications. The new output table formats are set out in appendix 2 to this Information Paper.

1.7. Chapter 6 discusses the reconciliations between GFS, ASNA and AAS 31 analytical balances.

1.8. Information on the availability of GFS tables and ABS contacts for further information are to be found in chapter 7.

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