1996 – Public Sector Accounting: Shifting the Focus to Results

Government deficits and debt are major concerns for Canadians. In these times of fiscal restraint, governments at all levels are being reshaped and downsized to help preserve essential services at affordable cost. Canadians need information about the overall financial status of their governments and about how effectively the major components of these governments are performing. This requires a shift in emphasis from control over inputs toward accountability for outputs and outcomes. In response, various jurisdictions have introduced major reforms in accounting and reporting in recent years. These reform initiatives require annual consolidated audited financial statements for each level of government and an explicit linkage of program costs to the achievement of results.

The theme of this conference will be of interest to taxpayers concerned about prudent spending of public funds and to providers and users of governmental financial information. This conference examines the innovative reforms undertaken by the Canadian federal government and by the provincial government of Alberta. The conference will begin with a keynote address by the Auditor General of Canada, L. Denis Desautels, FCA. This address will be followed by a panel of distinguished speakers who will explore these reform initiatives from the following perspectives:

From the public sector perspective – views on reforms in accounting and reporting in the governments of Canada and Alberta

From the perspective of the accounting and auditing profession – views on the implications of these reforms for accountants and auditors

From the public policy perspective – views on the usefulness of these reforms for public policy makers.

Keynote speaker:

Public Sector Accounting: Shifting the Focus to Results
Denis Desautels, FCA, Auditor General of Canada

Speakers:

Public Sector Accounting: Shifting the Focus to Results
Denis Desautels, FCA, Auditor General of Canada

Public Sector Accounting: Shifting the Focus to Results (Notes for a Statement)
V. Peter Harder, Secretary of the Treasury Board and Comptroller General, Government of Canada

Public Sector Accounting: Shifting the Focus to Results – Alberta’s Perspective and Experience to Date
James D. Peters, CA, Comptroller, Alberta Treasury

Accounting for Results
John Kelly, FCA, Director, Public Sector Accounting and Auditing Board, CICA

Nothing is More Rational Than A rationalization: Words of Caution About public Policy Marksmanship
Gilles Paquet, Professor, Public Policy and Economics, University of Ottawa