NT Government Crest

Northern Territory Auditor‑General's Office

Auditing for Parliament


Audit of the Treasurer's Annual Financial Statement

Using information about the effectiveness of internal controls identified in the overall control environment review, Agency Compliance Audits and financial statement audits, an audit approach is designed and implemented to determine whether balances disclosed in the Treasurer's Annual Financial Statement are in accordance with the disclosure requirements adopted by the Treasurer, and are within acceptable materiality standards.

The audit report on the Treasurer's Annual Financial Statement is issued to the Treasurer. The Treasurer then tables the audited Treasurer's Annual Financial Statement to the Parliament as a key component of the accountability of the Government to the Parliament.

Statutory bodies, Government Owned Corporations and Government Business Divisions are required by various Acts of Parliament to prepare annual financial statements and to submit those statements to the Auditor‑General for audit. Those statements are audited and audit opinions issued accordingly. The opinions are included in the various entities' annual reports that are tabled in the Legislative Assembly. If matters of concern were noted during the course of an audit, specific comment is included in the Auditor‑General's report to the Legislative Assembly.

In addition, the Northern Territory Government controls, either directly or indirectly, a small number of companies that have been incorporated pursuant to the Commonwealth Corporations Act 2001. These audits are performed subject to the provisions of the Commonwealth legislation, with the Auditor‑General being deemed by the Corporations Act 2001 to be a Registered Company Auditor.

Audits are conducted in accordance with Australian Auditing Standards. Those standards are issued by the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, a Commonwealth statutory body established under the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. Auditing standards issued by the Board have the force of law in respect of audits of corporations that fall within the ambit of the Corporations Act 2001, while the Audit Act 1995 also requires that the Auditor‑General has regard to those standards.

Statutory Audits of Financial Statements

Statutory audits of financial statements are conducted on the full financial reports of government business divisions, government owned corporations and other government controlled entities that prepare statutory financial statements. The Treasurer's Annual Financial Statement is subjected to audit.

Agencies are required, by Treasurer's Directions issued pursuant to the Financial Management Act 1995, to prepare financial statements that comply with Australian Accounting Standards. However, Agencies are not required to submit those statements to the Auditor‑General unless directed to do so by the Treasurer pursuant to section 11(3) of the Financial Management Act 1995. As no such direction has been given, Agencies' financial statements are not audited separately, but are reviewed as part of the audit of the Public Account and of the Treasurer's Annual Financial Statement.

In the case of a financial statement audit, an 'unqualified audit opinion' means that the Auditor‑General is satisfied that the Agency or Entity has prepared its financial statements in accordance with Australian Accounting Standards and other mandatory financial reporting requirements or, in the case of acquittal audits, the relevant legislation or the agreement under which funding was provided. It also means that the Auditor‑General believes that the report is free of material error and that there was nothing that limited the scope of the audit. If any of these conditions should not be met, the Auditor‑General issues a 'modified audit opinion' and explains why.