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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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