Accounting for Trust in Governmental Reporting

An ACCA-sponsored report written by Dr. Ekaterina Svetlova and Dr. Silvia Pazzi from the University of Leicester calls on governmental financial planners to make government reporting more accessible, engaging and technologically advanced. In the report, released in November 2020, the authors discuss the importance of ensuring that financial government reporting is available to a wider number of users and moves to a greater level of digitisation to enhance accessibility and engagement. In addition, the authors highlight ways of improving one particular segment of governmental reporting, namely departmental risk disclosure. They recommend clear categorisation and prioritisation of risks, more comparability and consistency of risk presentation across departments and providing links to government-wide priorities.

The authors and ACCA worked alongside HM Treasury to lay out the project’s terms of reference in a bid to find solutions to improve users’ trust in reporting. The aim of the project was to understand who the users are, what the needs of those users are and then to offer clear recommendations on how to improve the communicative aspect of governmental accounting. The research used responses from 14 interviews and 10 consultations from experts and practitioners in the field. All respondents pointed to the need to ensure reporting was made more accessible and more understandable. To achieve this, the authors call for new digitalization strategies to organise the archiving of documents, improve the navigation of single documents and introduce new formats of reporting.

The report provides examples of international best practice.

Read more of the research findings, recommendations and conclusions by downloading the report document.