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Survey results: accounting system trends - EY - Global

Transparency in public sector accounting

Survey results: accounting system trends

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Most countries in Europe, Oceania and the Americas have already moved toward accrual accounting.

Governments and parliaments are seen as the main users of governmental financial statements.

Despite the current debt crisis and international public alarm over the ongoing sovereign financial instability, the government and the parliament are seen as the main users of governmental financial statements. Surprisingly, the media, international financing institutions and especially rating agencies are not seen as key users.

Main users

Making true financial comparisons between governments all but impossible

The large majority of the countries surveyed each use their own national accounting and financial reporting system. This means that most are unable to compare their level of efficiency with other governments.

The standards in use

Cash basis is still widespread

Cash-basis accounting is still very common, especially in Asia and Africa. However, these regions share the most dynamic development and reform plans as indicated by respondents from that region. Other countries in Europe, Oceania and the Americas have already moved toward accrual accounting.

Region and the current accounting system

Reforms are on the agenda

Even though the majority of participants state that they use the accrual basis of accounting, most of them have plans to reform their current accounting system.

Plans to implement

Financial reform plans continue despite the financial crisis, not because of it

The global financial and debt crisis has had surprisingly little impact on reform plans, a reflection perhaps that many finance ministries have long understood the advantages of accrual accounting and had conversion on their list of priorities.

Did the global financial crisis alter your reform plans?

Most government financial administrations know about IPSAS, but only a few have actually implemented the standards

Most countries have heard of IPSAS, but only three of the participating countries have implemented accrual IPSAS already. As indicated by the respondents, the slow adoption is due to either a lack of funding, a lack of accounting specialists, or a lack of experience with accrual accounting.

Region and awareness

 


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