Article

Government Financial-Reporting Standards: Reviewing the Past and Present, Anticipating the Future

Craig D. Shoulders and Robert J. FreeMan

in The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government Finance

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199765362
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199765362.013.0028

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Government Financial-Reporting Standards: Reviewing the Past and Present, Anticipating the Future

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Winnowing out and compiling the critical financial information and reporting it on a timely and accurate basis are arduous and often controversial tasks. Starting off with a brief description of the basis of governmental accounting principles (and how they are set), this article recounts the ongoing efforts to address long-standing problems and newly emerging issues. One complexity is reporting on the separate self-balancing funds, of which there can be a multitude for an individual government. The scope and number of audits, which cost money and take time, are constraints and affect how quickly financial reports can be published. Potential regulations in the securities area may force rapid changes. Another major pressure, evolving from the profession itself, is to move governments closer to the accrual-based accounting concepts (and associated principles) used by the private sector and to achieve greater conformity with international standards.

Keywords: financial reporting standards; financial information; accounting principles; self-balancing funds; securities; private sector

Article.  13332 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Public Economics ; Financial Markets

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