All citizens should care how governments budget and account for their spending. Bad financial information means services suffer and public servants can’t be properly held to account. Join us on the Accountability. Now. journey.
Every day, governments spend money on a range of services and infrastructure for their citizens. Given the large sums involved, good financial management is essential.
But what happens when a government doesn’t produce reliable, comparable information on which to base its spending decisions from one year to the next?
What if the financial information was incomplete and, for example, didn’t account for promises made today that need to be paid for in the future, such as pension programs for its citizens and employees, or repaying debt over time?
When a government bases its spending decisions on inadequate financial information, the results can be disastrous. Poor services. Erosion of trust in government to do the right thing. Economic instability.
Accountability. Now. represents a coalition of organizations that believe there’s a better way forward for governments of all sizes.
It starts with equipping governments with the foundation for good financial management: transparent, accountable financial information that:
- captures the entire picture of funding commitments, now and in the future;
- facilitates wise spending;
- strengthens economies; and, most importantly,
- builds trust with their citizens.
Better quality financial information and increased transparency won’t solve all the challenges of governing, but they will greatly assist government decision making and performance.
Toward stronger economies
We recognize that some of the world’s least developed nations lack the accountancy profession capacity to implement the financial information reforms supported by Accountability. Now.
Conversely, they have the most to benefit from embracing government transparency to boost economic growth and support the development of civil societies. Without good financial management, they will continue to struggle to deliver the demands placed on them.
- Accountability. Now. brochure
- Video: IFAC CEO on Accountability. Now.
- Public sector financial management news and resources on the MOSAIC website
- Public Sector Financial Management Transparency and Accountability: The Use of International Public Sector Accounting Standards
- IPSAS Benefits to the World Health Organization (published by WHO)
- News: Financial Times (paywall) Alta Prinsloo, Chief Operating Officer, IFAC: Incomplete Public Accounting Threatens Africa's Welfare and Growth
- State of Public Finances 2015 - Strategies for Budgetary Consolidation & Reform in OECD Countries
- News: The National (Abu Dhabi) Fayez Choudhury, CEO, IFAC: Abu Dhabi leads the way in adopting sustainable accounting standards
- ICAEW Better Government Series: A Modern Finance Ministry
- News: The Atlantic: The Accounting Rules That Bankrupt Cities
- News: Public Finance International: IPSAS Delivering a "more acountable" UN
- News: Public Finance International: Modest steps 'more likely to lead to PFM success'
Starting the Accountability. Now. journey
Implementing accrual based financial reporting takes time. For some governments, the journey takes years. But the destination is worth the journey.
Malta is embarking on a five year IPSAS implementation plan and Noel Camilleri, Director General of Malta's Department of Treasury, writes that it's helping his country get its ACT (Accountability, Credibility, Transparency) together.
Take a look at who’s already started or completed implementation of the reforms championed by Accountability. Now, what they learned on the journey, and see how transparent, accountable financial information is helping strengthen their economies through the "A Closer Look at:" series from the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.
Public Financial Management: A Whole System Approach by Ian Carruthers, CIPFA
Materials and upcoming events for partners & friends
- Event: 7 April 2016, Brussels. FEE is hosting a Public Sector Roundtable.
- ONE transparency web page
- Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT)
- "Accountability. Now. We Must Enhance Government Accountability and Transparency," Andreas Bergmann, Chair, International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board
- Deloitte's IPSAS in your pocket - 2015 edition
- 2015 Open Budget Survey