Thursday, 17 September 2009

Financial illiteracy

 “Treasurer, is the Budget blowing out again”, asks Peter Gutwein, Shadow Treasurer in a Press Release dated 15th September 2009. “Last year, in the midst of the Global Financial Crisis, the State Government managed to spend $311 million more than it budgeted”.

Quite correct. Mr Gutwein must be reading from page 10 of the Preliminary Outcomes Report released 14th August 2009.

But then Mr Gutwein says “(t)his was despite Tasmania losing nearly $220 million in revenue in 2008-09.”

That is incorrect. Revenue was $103 million higher in 2008/09 than budgeted not $220 million less.

Mr Gutwein then intones“(w)e need financial leadership and vision, not spin and poor management”.

Agreed, but we also need people who can read a simple set of accounts.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Accounting for dummies.. a look at Forestry Tasmania

Media releases which accompany reports such as FT’s 2008/09 annual financial statements usually attempt to mislead rather than inform. The reliance on PR people who are obviously quite limited when it comes to interpreting economic and financial statements isn’t exactly designed to logically and coherently explain FT’s current situation to stakeholders.