Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Something Wrong with Local Govt Accounting

worked with numbers all the day. naga city's income and expenditure statements, in actual figures, from 1990-1993, 1995-1997, and 2002-2003. the last two years i had difficulty because the reporting format changed.

i wonder why people tend to complicate things. revenue reporting was pretty straightforward and easy to follow from 1990 to 1997 --- until a 'new' but not improved system of hodge-podge reporting and wrong cross-referencing was adopted in 2002 to 2003, and with apprehension, onwards. for example, under the 2003 certified statement of income, an entry 'initial years' adjustment' amounting to P11M was a deductible to income. then in the accompanying, 2003 certified statement of income and expenditures, the same entry is a component of income! perhaps the inconsistency is deliberate given the corruption in our institutions.

likewise, the traditional method of lumping IRA to real estate tax was changed. the 2002-2003 system here categorizes the IRA under 'other income'.  appallingly, tax revenues are lumped in just one column, containing categories that used to be under 'operating and miscellaneous revenues' or 'income from economic enterprises'. 

for a researcher like me who has to make comparisons and distinguish trends by year, this is a nightmare. even without going on the field, research is made a burden by (deliberately) lopsided secondary data. 

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