13.1 Utilising support from Finance
The Finance Minister (supported by Finance) has a significant role in Commonwealth financial reporting, as part of their responsibilities for the PGPA Act . To assist entities to discharge their responsibilities under the PGPA Act , Finance develops and issues:
- accounting policies and financial statements presentation and disclosure requirements through the FRR
- RMG 125 Commonwealth Entities Financial Statements Guide
- (PRIMA) Forms of Financial Statements
- RMG guides, and
- Estimates Memoranda.
Policies are based on the AAS, Australian Interpretations, guidance and other financial reporting policies developed by Finance. This involves interpretations of accounting policies, advice on reporting and appropriation requirements and the development and maintenance of the budget and reporting framework.
13.1.1 Publications and support by Finance
The CFO should establish agreed lines of communication with Finance officials to help ensure that any issues arising in the context of financial statements, for which it is appropriate to seek advice from Finance, are identified and resolved in a timely manner.
Finance is the convenor of the CFO Forum, which is a vehicle for the discussion of accounting, auditing and related topics with the CFOs of Commonwealth entities. Attendance at forums can assist in obtaining an understanding of Finance’s responsibilities and identifying emerging financial reporting issues.
Finance also provides financial reporting advice and support to Commonwealth entities. It is important to engage with Finance early in the process of developing your financial statements, allowing sufficient time for a response to be formulated.
When requesting advice from Finance, better-practice entities include:
- a detailed description of the issue
- any related position papers or accounting papers
- references and excerpts from the relevant legislation/AAS
- the materiality of the issue
- whether the items are related to Administered or Departmental funds, or a special account
- details of historical treatment, and
- the related program/policy (if appropriate).
Template that sets out the key information to include in your request for advice from Finance.
Provides extracts of relevant legislative requirements from the FRR; and additional ‘guidance’ paragraphs to assist in applying the FRR and supporting policies.
A Finance site that includes the current PRIMA forms and guides.
This page lists the numbered RMGs.