Accrual Practices and Reform Experiences in OECD Countries
Financial reporting is one of the foundations of good fiscal management. High-quality
financial reports are essential to ensure that a government’s fiscal decisions are
based on the most up-to-date and accurate understanding of its financial position.
Financial reports are also the mechanism through which legislatures, auditors, and
the public at large hold governments accountable for their financial performance.
Over the past two decades, a growing number of governments have begun moving away
from pure cash accounting toward accrual accounting to improve transparency and accountability
and better inform fiscal decision making. This study reviews and compares accounting
and budgeting practices at the national government level in OECD countries. It also
discusses both the challenges and benefits of accruals reforms. Finally, it looks
at some steps countries are taking to make better use of accrual information in the
future. This is a joint publication with the International Federation of Accountants
and the OECD.
Published on February 24, 2017