The primary purpose of financial statements is to provide relevant and reliable information to users about a reporting entity’s financial position. In the public sector, the users of financial statements include Ministers, the Parliament and the community. ‘The objectives of a financial statements audit in the public sector are often broader than expressing an opinion whether the financial statements have been prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework. The audit mandate, or obligations for public sector entities, arising from legislation, regulation, ministerial directives, or government policy requirements may result in additional objectives’.
2. The ANAO applies these objectives in undertaking financial statements audits and considers areas that may give rise to risks of non-compliance with authorities or risks relating to effectiveness of internal control when planning and performing the audit.
3. The preparation of timely and accurate audited financial statements is also an important indicator of the effectiveness of an entity’s financial management, which fosters confidence in an entity on the part of users.
4. This report provides a summary of the results of the final audits of the financial statements of Australian Government entities and the Consolidated Financial Statements as at 30 November 2017. These audit results have been reported to the responsible Minister(s) and those charged with governance of each entity.