This was an 49 The South Australian Auditor General provided observations

This was an 49 the south australian auditor general

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the non-consolidation of entities contributed to the audit qualifications. This was an 49 The South Australian Auditor- General provided ‘observations’ only that were treated as qualifications in Walker’s (2011, p. 483) study.
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183 issue that was partially caused by the duality of GAAP and GFS. For example, the classification of Universities as multi-jurisdictional entities led some State and Territory jurisdictions to include them in the consolidated financial report, whereas others did not. The Auditors- General’s treatments across Australia differed from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and where the exclusion in some jurisdictions did not lead to an audit qualification, the financial report in another jurisdiction was qualified (Walker 2011, p. 486). Other studies have shown that different reports and numbers were presented to the public in later years before a GAAP/GFS harmonised accounting standard was finalised and implemented. For example, a study by Wines and Scarborough (2006) found that key budget results were reported in a variety of ways across jurisdictions in the financial years 2004-05 and 2005-06. The Western Australian 2003-04 budget papers also identified that different ‘headline measures’ were used across jurisdictions. Only two jurisdictions (Victoria and Australian Capital Territory) used GAAP measures (net operating balance), whereas the remaining jurisdictions focused on different GFS measures, such as ‘underlying cash balance’, ‘net lending/borrowing’ or ‘net operating balance’ (GFS). While the Northern Territory and Western Australia had already adopted a similar format for both budget and end- of-year financial statements, other jurisdictions’ end -of - year financial statements were not comparable to their budget papers. In addition, reports based on GFS were not usually subject to audit, except in the Northern Territory. There was little evidence that the variety of reporting practices was discussed at the governmental level in any meaningful way during the mid to late-1990s. State and Territory governments had adopted either one or the other framework. In addition, all jurisdictions had agreed to produce GFS based UPF outcome statements, including
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184 outcome (end-of-year) statements. These were, however, tabled in some jurisdictions, but not others. Again, no evidence was found that this was discussed in a meaningful manner prior to the later 1990s. Interviews with HoTs members suggest that only two HoTs thought that the dual reporting regime was a prominent issue in their jurisdiction prior to the FRC’s strategic direction. They suggested that the issues were not discussed in a meaningful manner prior to approximately 2000, but were not certain about the timing. All other HoTs did not see it as a main concern or mentioned it as an issue that they thought should have been acted upon. The analysis based on written documents confirmed the interview data. Hansards of all States, Territories and the Federal governments from 1996-2002 were searched for the following terms (in full and abbreviation): GFS, AAS, as well as for the names of the HoTs or PEs during this time.
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  • Government, The Land, International Financial Reporting Standards, Financial Accounting Standards Board, Australian Accounting Standards Board, Snow

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