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NCJ Number: 66876 Find in a Library
Title: NEW LOOK AT GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING
Journal: JOURNAL OF ACCOUNTANCY  Volume:147  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1979)  Pages:46-55
Author(s): H I STEINBERG
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PRINCIPLES CURRENTLY FOLLOWED IN GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING ARE EXPLAINED, AND SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT ARE OFFERED.
Abstract: RECENT ATTACKS ON GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING PROCEDURES HAVE PRODUCED INTENSIVE REEXAMINATION OF THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES MOST WIDELY USED. THE BASIC ISSUES INVOLVED IN THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CREDIBILITY OF CURRENT GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES ARE CONSOLIDATED REPORTING, THE MEASUREMENT BASE, BUDGETS, ENCUMBRANCES, FIXED ASSETS AND DEPRECIATION, AND FINANCIAL REPORTS. IN EXAMINING THE MATTER OF CONSOLIDATED REPORTING, THE DISCUSSION FOCUSES ON WHY GOVERNMENTAL ACCOUNTING AND REPORTING REFLECT A MULTITUDE OF SEPARATE FUNDS RATHER THAN THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENTAL UNIT. CONSIDERATION OF THE MEASUREMENT BASE EXPLORES WHY GOVERNMENTS DETERMINE RESULTS OF OPERATIONS BY MEASURING THE FLOW OF RESOURCES RATHER THAN BY DETERMING COSTS. THE REASONS WHY GOVERNMENTS DON'T USE ACCRUAL ACCOUNTING AS DO COMMERCIAL ORGANIZATIONS ARE DISCUSSED AS A RELATED ISSUE. SINCE BUDGETS ARE NOT PART OF THE ACCOUNTING PROCESS, THE BASIS FOR THEIR PRESENTATION WITHIN GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL STATEMENTS IS ALSO EXAMINED. GOVERNMENTAL RECOGNITION AND REPORTING OF ENCUMBRANCES IS ALSO SCRUTINIZED, AS IS ITS FAILURE TO RECORD FIXED ASSESTS AND DEPRECIATION ON SUCH ASSETS SUGGESTIONS FOR MAKING GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL REPORTS MORE MEANINGFUL AND CLEAR ARE ALSO NOTED. OVERALL, GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES AARE BASICALLY SOUND. ANYONE CONSIDERING REFORMS MUST BEGIN WITH A THOROUGH COMPREHENSION OF THE RATIONALE FOR CURRENT GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES. A TABLE AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Accounting methods; Budgets; Critiques; Financial management; Local government; Standards
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66876

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