Validation of financial statements: basic things to look for as a public sector auditor
Validation of financial statements and expressing independent audit opinion on them is an annual “ritual” in Public Sector Audit, for that matter, Ghana Audit Service, backed by regulatory frameworks.

Regulatory framework for the preparation of financial statements
It is management’s responsibility to prepare and submit financial statements to the Auditor-General as enshrined in Section 80(1) of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) which states “A Principal Spending Officer of a covered entity shall, within two months after the end of each financial year, prepare and submit to the Auditor-General and Controller and Accountant-General, the accounts, and information set out in the schedule”.

It therefore means that latest by the 28th or 29th of February of the following year after the end of the financial year, heads of public institutions must prepare and submit a comprehensive financial statement to the Auditor-General through the District and Regional Offices of Ghana Audit Service to enable the financial statements to be validated and an opinion expressed on them by the Regional Auditors on behalf of the Auditor-General. However, should a Principal Spending Officer of a Public Institution fail to submit its financial statement within the stipulated timeframe as prescribed by the law, such financial statement should be rejected on the grand of late submission.

This is because, should the Auditor-General tolerate and accept late submission of financial statements from institutions, he would not be able to submit his reports to Parliament within the six months after the end of the financial year as required per Section 20(1) of the Audit Service Act 2000 (Act 584) and Section 84 of the Public Financial Management Act 2016 (Act 921).


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