Financial reporting for Commonwealth entities

Legislative authority

All Commonwealth entities are required to prepare annual financial statements in accordance with the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) or other legislation that established particular entities.

The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting) Rule 2015 (FRR) sets out the financial reporting requirements for Commonwealth reporting entities. All Commonwealth reporting entities are required to prepare their financial statements in accordance with the PGPA Act, the FRR and the Australian Accounting Standards (AAS) and/or other entity-specific legislation.

More information on the PGPA Act, the FRR and the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 is provided in the Overview of Commonwealth financial reporting.

For guidance on specific accounting and financial reporting policies, refer to the Technical accounting policy and guidance.

Commonwealth entities financial statements guide

The RMG 125 - Commonwealth entities financial statements guide (RMG 125) applies to all Commonwealth reporting entities responsible for preparing financial statements under the FRR. This guide:

  • assists reporting entities to comply with AAS and the FRR
  • provides information relevant to the preparation of annual financial statements (e.g. definitions, rounding and materiality policies)
  • provides information relevant to the specific requirements of the FRR, including disclosure of individual remuneration for senior executives of reporting entities and other additional disclosures not covered by AAS
  • for consistency, explains accounting treatment mandated by the FRR where AAS allows a choice (e.g. use of the valuation method for material property, plant and equipment and administered disclosures).

Exemptions to the FRR

Approved exemptions from the requirements of the FRR are set out in the document below. The listed exemptions remain effective until rescinded in writing, or the repeal of the FRR, whichever occurs first.

Primary reporting and information management aid (PRIMA) Documents

The PRIMA documents assist entities to prepare their annual statutory financial reports. PRIMA:

  • aims to address the reporting requirements of different Commonwealth entities
  • is not mandatory, entities must ensure their financial reports can enable whole-of-government consolidation and comply with all applicable AASs and the FRR

Changes to standards relevant to financial statements

The list of changes to the standards relevant to financial statements will assist entities in disclosing the impact on their financial statements of new accounting standards for 2018-19 and future years, as required by AASB 108 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors. Entities are responsible for ensuring that standards that are issued subsequent to this document, but prior to the signing of the financial statements, are disclosed as appropriate.

The list of changes is reissued in July each year.

Standard parameters for use in financial statements

The standard parameters document provides a summary of relevant indices such as the Consumer Price Index and Wage Price indices.  It also provides a selection of yields for various government securities for use in present value calculations.  End of financial year currency exchange rates have also been updated. The table of discount factors for use in the calculation of the long service leave shorthand method is outlined in RMG 125
These parameters are reissued in July each year.

Leases - zero coupon discount rate

The table of leases - zero coupon discount rate is updated quarterly to assist entities in measuring new leases entered into during the quarter or to perform re-measurement of existing leases.

Technical accounting policy and guidance

Technical accounting policy and guidance provide guidance on specific accounting and financial reporting policies, and provide explanations and examples relating to the interpretation and application of Australian Accounting Standards (AAS) and/or FRR.

Financial statements better practice guide

Financial statements better practice guide (BPG) focuses on financial statements preparation, as distinct from accounting treatments or disclosures. The BPG aims to support entities to efficiently prepare high-quality financial statements and to continuously improve financial statements practices and processes.


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