With the introduction of AAS 27 Financial Reporting by Local Governments, local councils were required to change dramatically their reporting of infrastructure assets, including road networks. This paper examines the recording, maintenance and depreciation of roads in a sample of NSW local councils. Inconsistencies highlighted suggest that whether councils report an operating surplus or an operating loss (due to the inclusion of a depreciation expense), influenced their willingness to comply with current reporting requirements. Also evident was the ability of perceptions of different stakeholders to influence accountants (agents) when reporting on infrastructure assets and resulting performance indicators. Issues identified provide enough doubts about whether councils can be held accountable in discharging their financial management duties under current legislation to warrant further investigation. The growing emphasis on perform or perish provides too little incentive for councils to manage their assets in a holistic manner.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Accounting, Accountability and Performance|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|