Editorial for Special Issue on Public Sector Reporting Systems: A Global Challenge

Ashley Burrowes


The financial market turmoil of 2008 has challenged Public Sector (governmental) reporting agencies as well as those in the for-profit sector. Many states are struggling to finance existing services to citizens and this is being exacerbated by the tax bases. States are searching for ways to continue services by using creative financing strategies. In my home state of California, unpaid furloughs have been imposed on state university faculty and the state government has even resorted to issuing IOUs. The continuing rise in unemployment numbers also exacerbates the problem. The pressure to maintain performance indicators is a challenge and some solutions present reporting and privacy problems for state agencies and auditors. The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board has issued an exposure draft for a new conceptual framework system for external financial reporting and the U.S Government Accounting Standards Board is reviewing performance reporting criteria. This highlights the need for improved internal controls by public sector agencies.

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