Part E - Relationship to the accounting standards

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Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods
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The main sources of information for compiling GFS in Australia are the data systems that support the public accounts of the Commonwealth, and each state and territory government. These accounts are largely geared towards financial accountability and control and are in a format reflecting accounting standards and legal and administrative imperatives in each jurisdiction. In compiling the statistics, the ABS makes use of the accounts of other government authorities that fall within the scope of the GFS system but are not covered by the public accounts and keep their own particular forms of financial accounts. Also used are local governments’ accounts, which are kept in a form dictated by administrative requirements and accounting standards.


The accounts that are the main sources of information for compiling GFS in Australia generally comply with Australian accounting standards for government entities. The accounting concepts established by these standards are generally consistent with the statistical concepts employed in GFS. In developing Australia’s GFS system, the ABS has worked closely with government accountants and the Australian Accounting Standards Board and has endeavoured to identify wand document the small number of unavoidable differences between the GFS system and the accounting standards.


Although accounting standards impose a high degree of uniformity on government financial reporting, government financial reports generally do not contain the degree of classificatory detail and the focus on particular economic and fiscal measures that GFS provides. Only the GFS system provides data that can be used for international comparisons and can be related to economic data included in the national accounts. The GFS relationship to the Australian accounting standards is further discussed in Chapter 17 of this manual.

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