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Budget Issues: Accrual Budgeting Useful in Certain Areas but Does Not Provide Sufficient Information for Reporting on Our Nation- Term Fiscal Challenge : Government Accountability Office (GAO) , December , 2007

December 2007

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

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“In 2000, GAO reviewed the use of accrual budgeting—or the recording of budgetary costs based on financial accounting concepts—in Australia, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. These countries had adopted accrual budgeting more to increase transparency and improve government performance than to increase awareness of longterm fiscal challenges. Accrual budgeting continues to be used in all six countries; Canada and the Netherlands, which use accrual information selectively, considered expanding the use of accruals but thus far have made only limited changes. Since 2000, other countries have considered using accrual budgeting. For example, Denmark and Switzerland began using accrual budgeting on a selective basis. Norway and Sweden, however, rejected accrual budgeting primarily because they believed cash budgeting enables better control over resources.”


Government Accountability Office (GAO)




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