Accession Number : ADA475133


Title :   Budget Issues: Accrual Budgeting Useful in Certain Areas but Does Not Provide Sufficient Information for Reporting on Our Nation's Longer-Term Fiscal Challenge


Corporate Author : GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a475133.pdf


Report Date : Dec 2007


Pagination or Media Count : 53


Abstract : Accrual budgeting continues to be used to some extent in all six countries reviewed in 2000. The six countries have taken different approaches in the design of their accrual-based budgets, and all continue to use cash information particularly for evaluating the overall fiscal condition. Since 2000, more OECD countries have expanded the use of accrual measurement in the budget, including Denmark and Switzerland. However, two countries in our study-Canada and the Netherlands which had considered broader expansions of accrual budgeting, have thus far made only limited changes. Two other countries-Norway and Sweden-also considered adopting accrual budgeting in recent years but decided against it, primarily because they believed the cash budget provides for better control, particularly over capital investment. When significantly expanding the use of accrual budgeting, there are several common transitional challenges countries initially faced including developing accounting standards for the budget and deciding what assets to value and how to value them. Countries tended to work through these issues over time. However, a number of implementation challenges cited in our 2000 report still exist. These challenges illustrate the inherent complexity of using accrual-based measures for managing a nation's resources. For example, accrual-based measures experience volatility due to changes in the value of assets and liabilities or changes in assumptions (e.g., interest rates, inflation, and productivity) used to estimate future payments whether or not there has been a change in the underlying fiscal stance. Management and oversight of noncash expenses were also cited as challenges. These challenges have led some countries to modify their approaches to accrual budgeting and to continue a reliance on cash-based measures for broad fiscal policy making.


Descriptors :   *ACCOUNTING , *COSTS , *BUDGETS , NATIONS , STANDARDS , MONEY , SWITZERLAND , DENMARK , PRODUCTIVITY , RESOURCES , NETHERLANDS , LONG RANGE(TIME)


Subject Categories : Economics and Cost Analysis


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE