Cagliari: Seminar 4

Seminar 4: May 29, 2008
Making Sense of American
Government Financial Statements


Issues to Address:

  • ** What does “fair presentation” mean?
  • * How are financial statements different from (and related to) financial reports?
  • *** In what ways are consolidated financial statements under the accrual basis useful? To whom? For what purposes?
  • ** How could the current financial reporting model be improved?

Professor Chan’s lecture based on:

  1. *** Government and Nonprofit Accounting: Concepts, Standards and Information Use (unpublished manuscript), Chapter 7 “Federal Government-wide Financial Reporting” [Chan7FedRep5.1.pdf]
  2. *** Government and Nonprofit Accounting: Concepts, Standards and Information Use (unpublished manuscript), Chapter 11 “Government-level Financial Statements and Accounting of State and Local governments” [Chan11V5.1.pdf]

Discussion Questions:

  • See “Issues …” above, and
  • How do Italian government financial statements look similar to or different from those produced by American governments?
  • Should Italy adopt government accounting standards similar to American government GAAP? (This question will be the subject of a debate contest after the seminar series is concluded.)

Recommended Internet Exercises:

  • Surf the FASAB’s website to find out its current priorities and activities.
  • Surf the GASB’s website to find out its current priorities and activities.

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