Under the Local Government (Financial Management) Regulations 2011 ("the Regulations") the annual financial statements of councils must be prepared in accordance with the Model Financial Statements. The LGA is the prescribed body under the Local Government Act 1999 ("the Act") for the purpose of preparing and publishing the Model Financial Statements. The Model Financial Statements in force at any point in time may be altered only with the written approval of the Minister for Local Government.
The Minister has given approval to the 2019 Model Financial Statements and therefore they are now available on the LGA's website on the:
Apart from assisting councils to comply with Australian Accounting Standards, the extensive use of Model Financial Statements (updated annually since 2006) has resulted in material improvements in the understanding, reliability, consistency and comparability of data made publicly available on Council finances. The strategic use of data published by councils is enhanced where a consistent approach has been adopted by the sector.
Councils are reminded that (under section 127 of the Act and Regulation 15 of the Regulations) annual financial statements must be prepared, ready for audit, by no later than the second Friday in September (i.e. by 13 September, 2018). In addition, Regulation 16 provides that audited financial statements must be submitted to the Minister and to the Local Government Grants Commission by 30 November.
The LGA greatly appreciates the contribution made to development of the 2019 edition of the Model Financial Statements by local government finance professionals from a number of councils and by the South Australian Local Government Auditors' Group. Particular thanks also go to David Maxwell of Coalface Software and Training Solutions, for annually authoring this important document.
The Local Government Financial Management Group is planning a workshop late in 2019 to discuss how the Model Financial Statements might be further improved in preparation for the 2020 edition. Suggestions from Councils and their auditors, informed by any issues arising from preparation of 2018-19 financial statements, will be most important at that time.