Comparing Australian commonwealth, state and territory budget balance numbers

Wines, Graeme and Scarborough, Helen 2006, Comparing Australian commonwealth, state and territory budget balance numbers, Australian journal of public administration, vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 74-89, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8500.2006.00495a.x.

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Title Comparing Australian commonwealth, state and territory budget balance numbers
Author(s) Wines, Graeme
Scarborough, HelenORCID iD for Scarborough, Helen
Journal name Australian journal of public administration
Volume number 65
Issue number 3
Start page 74
End page 89
Publisher Australian Regional Groups of the Royal Institute of Public Administration
Place of publication Sydney, N.S.W.
Publication date 2006
ISSN 0313-6647
Summary This article presents the findings from a case study of the 2004–05 annual budgets prepared by the Commonwealth, state and territory governments of Australia. The study examined the headline budget balance (general government sector surplus or deficit) announced in the budget papers and speeches of each of the nine governments. Findings indicate the adoption of varying measurement bases and a consequent lack of comparability in the headlined budget balance numbers. Accounting reforms have resulted in adoption of two different systems of accrual accounting by governments — the Government Finance Statistics (GFS) system and the professional Australian Accounting Standards (AAS) system — which provide significantly different measurements of the budget balance. However, there has been no prescription of the manner in which these alternative measures should be presented. This raises a number of questions from an accounting perspective.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8500.2006.00495a.x
Field of Research 150199 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, National Council of the Institute of Public Administration Australia
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
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