The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper investigates whether the planned revision of the IMF’s A Manual on Government Finance Statistics should advocate an accrual basis of recording over the essentially cash basis of recording in the previous manual. The paper concludes that the revised manual should advocate an accrual basis in order to address deficiencies of the existing modified cash basis and enable a greater degree of harmonization with other macroeconomic statistical systems. The paper suggests a strategy that would enable countries to move progressively to compiling an extensive range of accrual information reconciling data on economic and financial flows and stocks.