The Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) has welcomed NSW government treasurer Mike Baird’s new approach to financial reporting, which is expected to put internal agencies under greater scrutiny.
The treasurer outlined improvements to the preparation and lodgement process across NSW agencies at the ICAA’s Public Sector Sharing Knowledge event held at the on 8 March.
Baird said formally addressing existing qualifications and errors for the upcoming early close, better communication between agencies and their audit committees, and the appointment of external financial reporting experts demonstrate the government’s commitment to streamlining the reporting process.
“Unless we have financial integrity we can’t make informed decisions. From a performance perspective, what gets measured gets done. Accountability is critical,” he said.
The CAA’s head of reporting, Kerry Hicks FCA, welcomed the news, saying the government has a responsibility to taxpayers to ensure financial reporting is not only transparent but also as efficient and accountable as that undertaken in the private sector.
“The integrity of the management and reporting of taxpayer funds has to be upheld, so we’re confident this new approach by the NSW government will lead to more streamlined, accurate reporting that will ultimately benefit the state’s taxpayers,” she said.
The ICCA pointed out Baird’s comments follow the NSW Auditor General’s 2011-12 State Sector Accounts report in October last year, which showed a number of errors in the state’s accounts.
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