Auditor-General’s Report on the Annual Financial Report of the State of Victoria: 2017–18

Tabled: 24 October 2018

Appendix G. Glossary

Asset

An item or resource controlled by an entity that will be used to generate economic benefits.

Asset valuation

The fair value of a non-current asset on a specified date.

Audit Act 1994

Victorian legislation establishing the Auditor-General's operating powers and responsibilities and detailing the nature and scope of audits that the Auditor-General may carry out.

Audit committee

Helps a governing board to fulfil its governance and oversight responsibilities and strengthen the accountability of senior management.

Audit opinion

A written expression, within a specified framework, indicating the auditor's overall conclusion about a financial (or performance) report based on audit evidence.

Capital expenditure

Money an entity spends on:

  • new physical assets, including buildings, infrastructure, plant and equipment
  • renewing existing physical assets to extend their service potential or life.
Clear audit opinion

A positive written expression provided when the financial report has been prepared and presents fairly the transactions and balances for the reporting period in keeping with the requirements of the relevant legislation and Australian accounting standards. Also referred to as an unqualified audit opinion.

Control environment

Processes within an entity's governance and management structure that provide reasonable assurance about the achievement of an entity's objectives in terms of the reliability of financial reporting, the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Current asset

An asset that will be sold or realised within 12 months of the end of the financial year being reported on, such as term deposits maturing in three months or stock items available for sale.

Current liability

A liability that will be settled within 12 months of the end of the financial year being reported on, such as payment of a creditor for services provided to the entity.

Debt

Money owed by one party to another party.

Deficit

When total expenditure is more than total revenue.

Depreciation

Systematic allocation of the value of an asset over its expected useful life, recorded as an expense.

Eliminations

Removing the effect of transactions between entities when preparing consolidated financial statements.

Entity

A corporate or unincorporated body that has a public function to exercise on behalf of the state or is wholly owned by the state, including departments, statutory authorities, statutory corporations and government business enterprises.

Equity or net assets

Residual interest in the assets of an entity after its liabilities have been deducted.

Expense

The outflow of assets or the depletion of assets an entity controls during the financial year, including expenditure and the depreciation of physical assets. An expense can also be the incurrence of liabilities during the financial year, such as increases to a provision.

Financial report

A document reporting the financial outcome and position of an entity for a financial year, which contains financial statements including a comprehensive income statement, a balance sheet, a cash flow statement, a comprehensive statement of equity, and notes.

Financial sustainability

An entity's ability to manage financial resources so it can meet its current and future spending commitments, while maintaining assets in the condition required to provide services.

Financial year

A period of 12 months for which a financial report is prepared, which may be a different period to the calendar year.

Fiscal targets

Targets set by the government to meet short- and medium-term economic objectives.

General government sector

All government departments, offices and other bodies that provide services free of charge or at prices significantly below their cost of production, less eliminations. General government services include those that are mainly non-market-based, those that are largely for collective consumption by the community, and those that involve the transfer or redistribution of income. These services are financed mainly through taxes, other compulsory levies and user charges.

Going concern

An entity that is expected to be able to pay its debts when they fall due, and continue in operation without any intention or necessity to liquidate or otherwise wind up its operations.

Governance

The control arrangements used to govern and monitor an entity's activities to achieve its strategic and operational goals.

Internal audit

A function of an entity's governance framework that examines and reports to management on the effectiveness of the entity's risk management, internal controls and governance processes.

Internal control

A method of directing, monitoring and measuring an entity's resources and processes to prevent and detect error and fraud.

Investment

Public or private sector expenditure for the development and/or use of assets, intended to result in medium- to long-term service and/or financial benefits.

Issues

Weaknesses or other concerns in the governance structure of an entity identified during a financial audit, which are reported to them in a management letter.

Liability

A present obligation of the entity arising from past events, the settlement of which is expected to result in an outflow of assets from the entity.

Management letter

A letter the auditor writes to the governing body, the audit committee and the management of an entity outlining issues identified during the financial audit.

Material error or adjustment

An error that may result in the omission or misstatement of information, which could influence the economic decision of users taken on the basis of the financial statements.

Materiality

Information is material if its omission, misstatement or non-disclosure has the potential to affect the economic decisions of users of the financial report, or the discharge of accountability by management or those charged with governance. The size, value and nature of the information and the circumstances of its omission or misstatement help in deciding how material it is.

Net result

The value that an entity has earned or lost over the stated period—usually a financial year—calculated by subtracting an entity's total expenses from its total revenue for that period.

Non-current asset

An asset that will be sold or realised later than 12 months after the end of the financial year being reported on, such as investments with a maturity date of two years or physical assets the entity holds for long-term use.

Non-current liability

A liability that will be settled later than 12 months after the end of the financial year being reported on, such as repayments on a five-year loan that are not due in the next 12 months.

Physical asset

A non-financial asset that is a tangible item an entity controls, and that will be used by the entity for more than 12 months to generate profit or provide services, such as building, equipment or land.

Public financial corporation sector

Public sector corporations, including the government's central borrowing authorities, that provide financial services.

Public non-financial corporation sector

Public entities that provide goods and / or services in a competitive market.

Qualified audit opinion

An opinion issued when the auditor concludes that an unqualified opinion cannot be expressed because of:

  • disagreement with those charged with governance or
  • conflict between applicable financial reporting frameworks or
  • limitation of scope.

A qualified opinion is considered to be unqualified except for the effects of the matter that relates to the qualification.

Revaluation

The restatement of a value of non-current assets at a particular point in time.

Revenue

Inflows of funds or other assets or savings in outflows of service potential, or future economic benefits in the form of increases in assets or reductions in liabilities of an entity, other than those relating to contributions by owners, that result in an increase in equity during the reporting period.

Risk

The chance of a negative or positive impact on the objectives, outputs or outcomes of an entity.

Risk register

A tool an entity uses to help identify, monitor and mitigate risks. The register may appear in the form of a plot graph or a table.

Significant state-controlled entities

Those entities that are collectively deemed to have a significant effect on the transactions and balances reported in the state's annual financial report.

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