Financial Statements: Increasing Transparency and Accountability
Good financial management ensures that public money is used well and that financial statements are produced to meet high standards of transparency and accountability, as well as to demonstrate efficiency in the use of public resources as far as possible. To address current challenges in financial reporting, we have engaged finance officials from SEE ministries of finance in sharing their knowledge and experience in preparing and disseminating financial statements.
The learning initiative provided an overall context of financial reporting, examined the connection between reliable financial reporting and move to accrual accounting, discussed the links between financial reporting and fiscal statistics, considered better coverage of reporting entities, stocks, flows, and the role of external audit and the practical challenges of addressing issues of broadening the scope and usefulness of financial statements.
Participants were instructed ahead of the workshop how to introduce during one session of the workshop facts and challenges of their country/institution in preparing financial statements. Individual cases and opportunities for improvements were discussed in a group work. Workshop encompassed practical exercises and group discussions and we heard a country best practice in preparing quality financial statements in accrual accounting system.
During workshop we have addressed:
- how financial reporting is linked to accrual accounting and IPSAS key standards
- how financial statements contribute to decision-making
- how and to what extent fiscal risks are reported/contained in general purpose financial statements compliant to IPSAS
- how financial reporting is linked to fiscal statistics (GFS)
- how financial statements are prepared in different countries, what are challenges, opportunities and successful stories
- what are good practices in preparing financial statements
- finance officials from ministries of finance and line ministries, leading accounting and financial reporting reforms
- finance officials responsible for financial reporting
- finance officials involved in preparing accounting policies
- public sector accountants
- external auditors
- and trainers who will be expected to prepare and implement reform programs to support accrual accounting compilers of government finance statistics
Suzanne Flynn, IMF PFM Advisor
Suzanne works for the IMF and has been based at the CEF since November 2016. She is technical assistance advisor for public financial management in South East Europe. At the CEF, Suzanne helps deliver learning programs related to her work. She joined the IMF eight years ago after six years working in East Africa with PwC and in the Ugandan treasury. She started her career in the UK public service in 1987, starting in central government, and qualifying as a CIPFA accountant in local government in 1991. Before embarking on her career in Africa, she spent 3 years working for CIPFA in London. She has also worked in a number of Asian and Central Asian countries, and worked with several governments in Europe. Her work is funded by the European Commission.
Deon Florian Tanzer, IMF GFS Advisor
Deon works for the IMF and has been based at the CEF since September 2016. He is a technical advisor for government finance statistics (GFS) in South East Europe. He advises compilers in various national institutions on how to develop GFS data and data reporting, both for the IMF and the EU in compliance with the fiscal reporting requirements (the so-called Maastricht deficit and debt and the Excessive Deficit Procedure). Deon has gained extensive experience in GFS at the IMF and Statistics Netherlands. His work is funded by the Swiss Government.
Pascal Horni, lecturer and project leader at Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Pascal is a lecturer and project leader at Zurich University of Applied Sciences. He has 6 years of private and public sector accounting experience on all government levels, particularly in the fields of diagnostic PFM work, PFM project evaluations, capacity building, international consultancy, implementation of PFM specific activities. He gained international PFM experience in countries such as Switzerland, Serbia, Kenya and various Sub-Saharan Afican countries.
Jorg Kristijan Petrovič, First Deputy President of the Court of Audit, Slovenia
Jorg Kristijan Petrovič holds a BSc and MSc from the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana. He started his career at the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia in 1996 as an Assistant Auditor. In 2004 he was appointed Supreme State Auditor of the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia, taking over the Department for local self-government auditing. He held his office until 2006 when he was appointed Supreme State Auditor of the Court of Audit at the Department for auditing state budget, political parties as well as election and referendum campaigns.
He also gained his knowledge and expertise abroad (at the Supreme Audit Institutions of the United Kingdom and Germany) and was a member of various expert working groups (at the Association of Municipalities and Towns of Slovenia, Court of Audit and other expert bodies). In 2013, Petrovič, was elected First Deputy President of the Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia for a term of nine years.
This learning initiative was supported by: