Financial Statements and Performance Measures
The Government of Alberta prepares and makes public financial statements to provide information to Albertans about the province’s financial performance. The Office of the Auditor General, under the Auditor General Act, audits the financial statements of the Province of Alberta, as well as every ministry, department, regulated fund and provincial agency.
An audit is the collection and evaluation of evidence about the fairness of financial statements. By obtaining this evidence, the auditor general is able to provide a high level of assurance to Albertans about whether the financial statements prepared by management are fairly presented and free from material misstatements. An audit includes assessing where errors (misstatements) could occur in the financial statements, testing management’s internal control over financial information and performing additional audit procedures.
The audit, and the auditor’s report, adds credibility to the financial statements by telling Albertans whether the financial statements are reasonable. This does not mean that the auditor general examines every transaction or guarantees that the financial statements are error-free. Millions of transactions are summarized into the province’s financial statements. Audits, therefore, necessarily focus on areas of risk and on the places where errors that matter to users’ understanding of the financial statements as a whole are likely to occur.
We issued unqualified independent auditor’s reports on the financial statements for those entities we audited. We included an Emphasis of Matter paragraph in the auditor’s report on the province’s consolidated financial statements to emphasize the disclosure of the constructed budget in the province’s consolidated financial statements; the audit report was unqualified with respect to that matter. For a list of the entities we audit, please refer to our 2014 Performance Report, located on page 244 of this report.
The Government of Alberta prepares and reports performance measures to provide information that allows Albertans to assess the government’s overall performance, including performance relative towards goals in specific policy areas.
For ministries and some agencies, we complete review engagement procedures on selected non-financial measures of performance in the entity’s annual report. We also audit selected measures in the annual progress report on the government’s business plan, titled Measuring Up. We report on the reliability, understandability, comparability and completeness of the selected measures of performance. Our reviews and the audit are not designed to provide assurance on the relevance of the measures to users.