The Hansards of the roundtable hearings were the first documented evidence that

The hansards of the roundtable hearings were the

This preview shows page 243 - 246 out of 354 pages.

should be addressed (Finance 2001). The Hansards of the roundtable hearings were the first documented evidence that was found that discussed the issue of differences
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230 between GAAP and GFS and the desire for harmonisation (JCPAA 2001). PE A from Finance, PE B and another senior bureaucrat from Finance, and the Deputy Australian Statistician from the ABS voiced their desire for greater harmonisation between GAAP and GFS. The General Manager of the Budget Group at Finance, noted that: “My own view is that there should be no difference between the GFS and AAS presentations. … At present there are some differences between them. One of the longer term projects that [PE D] the head of our Accounting Centre of Excellence has on his plate is to seek to harmonise them. It will be a long-term project because the GFS statistics have their origins in the International Monetary Fund system of national accounts and there will be a need to liaise internationally to get some changes. But I cannot see any reason that over time we should not bring those into alignment and, if this committee were so minded, to also look to pushing in that direction. That, I think, would give us some help. (JCPAA 2001, PA 22) At the same meeting, PE B also voiced his support for GAAP/GFS harmonisation: “One other thing I want to mention is the harmonisation issue between GFS and AAS 31 standards. We would agree very much with Finance that it is highly desirable to get greater harmonisation between those standards. It is true that the GFS standards are derived from national accounting standards, overseen by, ultimately, the United Nations and IMF, but there may well be sensible ways in which we can modify the accounting standards applying to government to provide for greater harmonisation between GFS and AAS31.” (JCPAA 2001, PA 23) PE A also promoted GAAP/GFS harmonisation at that meeting: “Finance does take the role of har monising GFS and AAS as a serious part of our business. Under the charter of budget honesty, we prepare financial information with reference to external standards. We refer to the ABS as the keeper of the keys of the GFS standards. We refer to the ANAO as the keeper of the keys of the AAS standards. We would be delighted if they were the same.” (JCPAA 2001, PA 46) Mr Edwards, an ABS representative noted: “In the development of our accruals based government finance statistics, we had extensive discussions with the accounting people with a view to harmonising the statistics to the greatest extent possible. At the end of the day, we were limited to the extent that the statistical standards are really a subset of the wider national accounting standards and, in some areas of significance, there is a difference between the AAS31 approach and the statistical approach. Our solution to that was that, whenever we publish accruals based government finance statistics, we will provide a reconciliation to get from our presentation of the data to the
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231 accounting presentation. Having said that, there are, in my view, some needless differences between the accounting presentation and the statistical presentation.
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  • Fall '13
  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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