Changes to Local Government financial reporting announced

Published on Friday, 1 July 2022 at 11:41:00 AM

From July 1, 2022, simplified financial reporting and auditing for Western Australia’s local governments will be phased in.

The Western Australian Government is implementing these changes based on recommendations made by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). The aim of this reform is to have a more streamlined financial report system that ensures information is communicated clearly and transparently, thereby delivering improved outcomes for ratepayers and the broader community.

What does this mean for local governments?

Standardised templates, called model financial statements, will be introduced to the local government sector before the end of 2022 and available for use by April 2023.

These new standardised templates will be established for local government financial statements and are categorised based on the size of the local government, as below:

  • Large (band 1 and 2) local governments will have financial statements similar to those already used, with minor amendments and streamlining wherever possible.
  • Smaller (band 3 and 4)  local governments will have more streamlined standard financial statements, reflecting the generally less complex operations of these governments. 

All local governments will also adopt a short Rates and Revenue Policy. The purpose of this Policy is to provide greater clarity for ratepayers by linking the cost of services and the maintenance of assets (such as roads and recreation facilities) to the setting of rates.

Other important updates to the Local Government Reform include:

  • Reforms for Financial Ratios
  • Credit Card Statements Publicly Reported to Council
  • Other Minor Reforms

To download the Improved financial management and reporting PDF fact sheet, click here.

What is IT Vision doing in preparation for the change?

IT Vision is working closely with the Western Australia Local Government Association (WALGA), LG Professionals WA and the Department of Local Government to confirm the details of the changes to financial reporting requirements and assess how this will impact Altus products. Following this, we will review our Altus products, in particular Altus Financials, and make any required updates to the platform to meet these requirements.

We will provide further information on any Altus product updates via the Client Portal in the coming weeks.

To read the Government of Western Australia’s media release, click here.

For further information on Improved financial management and other minor reforms, click here.

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