Just what kind of accounting ARE the BC Liberals using?

While the talk around the province yesterday seemed to be centered on the news that the BC government finally admitted there is no bloody way to stick to the deficit numbers Campbell was flogging during his campaign, there was something much more interesting to me to be found in those financial reports.

If you head on over to the Ministry of Finance web page, you can access and read all the reports yourself.  Clicking on the actual Public Accounts for 08/09, you quickly see as you scroll the opening statement of  Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland, the comptroller general, in which you will find the following excerpt. That personally, I find more than a bit hilarious – you’ll get my drift in a moment.

In addressing these issues the province is supported by the advice of the independent Accounting Policy Advisory Committee created under the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act in 2001. Responsibility for the preparation of the government’s financial statements resides with my office. The applications of GAAP can be challenging and requires the use of professional judgement. This judgement is based on full analysis of the transactions and programs, application of Canadian guidance, and may involve broad consultation with other jurisdictions and professional accountants.

Each year the Auditor General expresses his opinion on the Summary Financial Statements based on his audit. This year, the Auditor General has expressed a qualified audit opinion and noted a few reservations in areas he believes the financial statements have departed from Canadian GAAP. These are difficult areas that depend on professional judgement; we will continue to have discussion with the Auditor General in regard to these reservations. “

If you don’t already know, let me help you here. The Canadian GAAP stands for ” Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Practices” , and apparently there are portions of the financials where the BC government have departed from those practices…..

Did I mention that that surplus figure is even questionable ??

Auditor John Doyle believes that the recorded surplus should have been a mere $8 million- a $70 million difference between Colin Hansens number of $78 million.

So, the question is, if the BC governments accounting practices are “departing” in several areas from generally accepted accounting practices, just what kind of accounting are they using? And doesn’t this just give a whole new meaning to Fudge-it Budget?
( Also interesting is this Ministerial Accountability Report :