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Abdul Khan and Mario Pessoa

This technical note describes need of conceptual design as a critical element of a government financial management information system project. Governments are increasingly turning to computerized financial management systems to help them respond to the demand for better information. This note describes the conceptual design for government financial management information systems (GFMIS), and explains why is it critical to the success of a GFMIS project. Key factors that influence the preparation of the conceptual design are discussed. The main stakeholders in the preparation of the conceptual design are also elaborated.

Joe Cavanagh, Ms. Suzanne Flynn, Delphine Moretti, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta

This technical note and manual (TNM) explains what accrual accounting means for the public sector and discusses current trends in moving from cash to accrual accounting. It outlines factors governments should consider in preparing for the move and sequencing of the transition. The note recognizes that governments considering accounting reforms will have different starting points across the public sector, different objectives, and varying coverage of the existing financial statements, it therefore recommends that governments consider each of these, and the materiality of stocks, flows and entities outside of government accounts when planning reforms and design the sequencing and stages involved accordingly. Building on international experiences, the note proposes four possible phases for progressively increasing the financial operations reported in the balance sheet and operating statement, with the ultimate aim of including all institutional units under the effective control of government in fiscal reports.

Mr. Ian Lienert

This paper examines the role of the legislature in budget processes. The paper highlights that for promoting good governance and fiscal transparency, the legislature’s active engagement in the budget process is essential. When fiscal policies and medium-term budgetary objectives are debated in parliament, budget strategies and policies are “owned” more widely. However, more active participation by the legislature runs the risk that fiscal discipline deteriorates. In countries where the legislature has unrestrained budget amendment authority, parliament is prone to introduce changes that increase spending or reduce taxes.

William Joseph Crandall
This technical note describes measuring performance in tax administration. Performance measurement is an ongoing process of ascertaining how well, or how poorly, an organization is achieving its goals and objectives. It involves the continuous collection of data on progress made in this regard. Performance indicators, or measures, are developed as standards for assessing the extent to which these objectives are achieved. This note explains key features of performance management and performance measurement. It outlines how tax administrations can apply performance management at the strategic level. Key tasks in implementing a performance management system are also described.
International Monetary Fund
This technical note examines the use of indirect methods in a taxpayer audit. Indirect methods involve the determination of tax liabilities through an analysis of a taxpayer’s financial affairs utilizing information from a range of sources beyond the taxpayer’s declaration and formal books and records. Assessments are often based on circumstantial evidence indicating a reasonable estimate of the taxpayer’s correct liability. This note describes why tax administrations need to use indirect audit methods. Indirect audit methods commonly used by tax administrations are elaborated. The legislative requirements for the use of indirect audit methods are also analyzed.
Mario Pessoa and Michael J. Williams
This technical note and manual (TNM) addresses the following main issues: Interaction between treasury cash management and monetary policy operations within the wider context of the respective economic responsibilities of the ministry of finance and the central bank; Institutional arrangements for an effective relationship between the treasury and the central bank; Contractual arrangements between the treasury and the central bank for the provision of banking and other services. This document will be particularly relevant to developing countries that are reforming cash management operations or contemplating more active cash management; or where there are operational policy differences between the treasury and the central bank.
Mr. Ashvin Ahuja, Kevin Wiseman, and Mr. Murtaza H Syed
Assessing country risk is a core component of surveillance at the IMF. It is conducted through a comprehensive architecture, covering both bilateral and multilateral dimensions. This note describes some of the approaches used internally by Fund staff to examine a wide array of systemic risks across advanced, emerging, and low-income economies. It provides a high-level view of the theory and methodologies employed, with an on-line companion guide providing more technical details of implementation. The guide will be updated as Fund staff’s methodologies for assessing country risk continue to evolve with experience and feedback. While the results of these approaches are not published by the IMF for market sensitivity reasons, they inform risk assessments featured in bilateral surveillance as well as in the IMF’s flagship publications on global surveillance.
Ms. Suzanne Flynn, Delphine Moretti, and Joe Cavanagh
This technical note and manual (TNM) explains what accrual accounting means for the public sector and discusses current trends in moving from cash to accrual accounting. It outlines factors governments should consider in preparing for the move and sequencing of the transition. The note recognizes that governments considering accounting reforms will have different starting points across the public sector, different objectives, and varying coverage of the existing financial statements, it therefore recommends that governments consider each of these, and the materiality of stocks, flows and entities outside of government accounts when planning reforms and design the sequencing and stages involved accordingly. Building on international experiences, the note proposes four possible phases for progressively increasing the financial operations reported in the balance sheet and operating statement, with the ultimate aim of including all institutional units under the effective control of government in fiscal reports.
Israel Fainboim Yaker and Sailendra Pattanayak
En este número de la serie de Notas Técnicas y Manuales se abordan los siguientes temas: 1. Se examinan los problemas que se derivan de la aplicación de mecanismos bancarios fragmentados para las operaciones del gobierno, y la forma de abordarlos mediante la creación de una cuenta única de tesorería (CUT). 2. Se explica el concepto de CUT y se describen sus características. 3. Se explican los problemas de diseño que deben tenerse en cuenta al establecer una CUT. 4. Se consideran los prerrequisitos y las cuestiones relacionadas con la secuencia e implementación de una CUT.
Mr. Junji Ueda
The IMF Fiscal Affairs Department's Revenue Administration Gap Analysis Program (RA-GAP) aims to provide a quantitative analysis of the tax gap between potential revenues and actual collections, and this technical note explains the concept of the tax gap for corporate income tax (CIT), and the methodology to estimate CIT gaps. It includes detailed steps to derive the potential CIT base and liability with careful consideration for the theoretical differences between the coverage of statistical macroeconomic data and the actual tax base of CIT, and then compare the estimated results with actual declarations and revenues. Although the estimated gaps following the approach will have margins of errors, it has the advantage of using available data without additional costs of collection and suits initial evaluations of overall CIT noncompliance in a country.