The Queensland Audit Office (QAO) has developed a financial reporting preparation maturity model to help our clients improve their processes.
This year, we worked with state government entities and some larger local governments as they undertook an initial self-assessment of their financial statement preparation processes using the maturity model on our website. The self-assessment has provided insights into areas of strength and improvement for each of our clients.
The stronger an entity’s financial statement preparation processes were, the easier the entity found it to complete its financial statements by the legislated deadline. Meeting these deadlines this year was a significant achievement for our state and local government clients, given the impacts and uncertainties of COVID‑19.
Now is a good time for entities to reflect on their recent financial statement preparation experiences to update their initial self-assessment against the maturity model. Where they identify areas for improvement, each entity can develop an implementation plan for discussion with its audit committee.
We have also collated the results of the self-assessments for this year to include them in our reports to parliament. The results show that most of the large and well-established entities have more mature processes in place. Some smaller entities, and departments more recently affected by machinery-of-government changes, assessed their processes as being less mature, but appropriate for them.
Key strengths and areas of improvement include:
Our engagement leaders will continue to work with entities on the maturity assessments.