This article addresses a major concern about the use of particular accounting concepts, notably those of control and assets, for whole-of-government consolidated financial reporting. While whole-of-government consolidated financial reports may resemble the formats required by accounting standards and so provide a benchmark for comparative purposes, inherent weakness in the specification of underpinning concepts means that proper and full application of the consolidation methodology cannot be assumed. A study of the whole-of-government consolidated financial reports of the Commonwealth, state and territory governments of Australia revealed that significant assets, obligations and controlled entities have not been included.
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