Section PS 1201 - Financial Statement Presentation

November 2015

GENERAL REPORTING PRINCIPLES

  • A government’s financial statements must be clearly identified and an acknowledgement of the government’s responsibility for their preparation must either be included in the government’s financial statements or must accompany them.
  • Any information required for the fair presentation of a government’s financial position, results of operations, remeasurement gains and losses, change in net debt and cash flow must be presented in the financial statements.
  • Financial statements must be presented in a form, use terminology and classify items in such a way as to ensure that significant information is readily understandable.
  • A comparison of current period amounts with prior period amounts must be presented.
    • Prior period information should be reported on a basis and scope consistent with current period information.
  • The bases used in determining the reported amounts of assets and liabilities must be applied consistently. The bases must be disclosed if they are not self-evident.
    • A change to the bases used would only occur when it results in more appropriate presentation.
    • Refer to PS 2120, Accounting Changes, for guidance and disclosure on changes in accounting policies.
  • Financial statements must be issued on a timely basis.
  • The auditor’s report must be appended to the financial statements when they are subject to an independent audit. When financial statements are unaudited they must be clearly identified as such.
  • The substance of transactions and events must be presented in the financial statements.
    • When legislation requires certain transactions / balances be accounted for in a manner that does not reflect their substances, special purpose financial statements / reports would be prepared to meet the legislative requirements.

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