Special Accounts

Please Note

The Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 [External Site] (FMA Act) and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) were repealed on 30 June 2014 and replaced by the PGPA Act from 1 July 2014. Some provisions of the FMA and CAC Acts, however, will remain in force during the transition period; for example performance reporting requirements for the 2013-14 financial year.

A Special Account is an appropriation mechanism that provides a limited special appropriation of up to the balance of the Special Account at any given time. The appropriation is provided under section 20 or 21 of the FMA Act

The Department of Finance has developed Guidelines for the Management of Special Accounts. The guidelines discuss a number of aspects of Special Accounts including their establishment, management, reporting and banking procedures.

Finance Circular 2009/01 provides an introduction for FMA Act agencies on establishing, managing and reporting Special Accounts. It replaces Finance Circular 2003/09 and summarises components of the Guidelines for the Management of Special Accounts.

Guidelines for the Management of Special Accounts

The document entitled Guidelines for the Management of Special Accounts advises ona number of aspects of Special Accounts, including the establishment, management, reporting and banking procedures

Financial Management Guidance (No. 7)

Chart of Special Accounts

The Chart of Special Accounts lists all Special Accounts managed by portfolio agencies. The Chart is intended to assist agencies in the effective reporting and management of Special Accounts. Each Special Account listed on the Chart is hyperlinked to its most recent legal instrument on the ComLaw database. The Chart is updated whenever a new Special Account is created, an old one is abolished, or when the administration of a Special Account changes.

Special Accounts Estimates and Final Cash Flows

Budget Paper No. 4 lists the estimated cash flows and balances of all Special Accounts in the upcoming financial year.  The Cash Flows and Balances of Special Accounts Report lists all Special Accounts managed by the Commonwealth in the previous financial year and the final cash flows and balances for those Special Accounts.  Cash Flows and Balances of Special Accounts Report matches information presented in agencies’ audited financial statements.  The estimated expenditure and final expenditure relating to an individual Special Account can be compared across Budget paper No.4 and the Cash Flows and Balances of Special Accounts Report. 

Information on the Consolidated Financial Statements can be found on the Finance website here for 2011-12 and here for 2012-13.

Estimated Cash Flows and Balances for Special Accounts

Cash Flows and Balances for Special Accounts

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Contact for information on this page: special.appropriations@finance.gov.au