This report summarises the results of our annual audits of 137 State government entities mainly for the year ended 30 June 2019.
The number of entities with serious deficiencies requiring a qualified opinion on financial statements, KPIs or controls, reduced from 6 last year to 3 this year. However, it is of continuing concern that too many audit findings reported to management in prior years are not yet addressed.
This year Treasury prescribed a reduced level of detail required in the financial statements of small and medium sized entities. The financial statements are shorter but still provide relevant information to users, and this helps reduce the annual reporting cost burden. I will continue to encourage efforts to streamline financial reporting obligations wherever it does not impair usefulness, accountability and transparency.
It was pleasing to report that, after many years of non-compliance, most relevant entities were much more timely in tabling their statements of corporate intent before, or shortly after the commencement of the 2019-20 financial year.
This report also provides information on selected significant financial transactions made by entities in 2018-19 that we noted during our audits. It also includes selected key financial ratios and information commonly used for assessing financial performance or analysing the financial health of entities. We report this information to provide insight to some of the important transactions considered during the audits.
My audit results reports, and other reports, provide insight to good practice and issues that may be common to several or all entities in the public sector. I encourage management to consider whether they need to re-visit some of these issues at their own entity.
Looking forward, major new accounting standards apply for 2019-20 – Revenue from contracts with customers, Income of not-for-profit entities, and Leases. There are varying degrees of readiness and preparation across the WA public sector for these new accounting standards. I encourage Treasury and entities to place a high priority on preparing for 2019‑20 annual financial reporting well in advance.
I wish to thank my staff, our contract audit firm partners and the staff in the audited entities who contributed to this year’s audit process for their professionalism, skill and cooperation.