Since 2004 the Department of Health and Human Services has mandated that all Victorian public hospitals and health services implement a common chart of accounts for financial reporting to the department.
The key objective of the common chart of accounts is to provide the basis of monthly financial reporting for whole-of-government reporting and performance measurement of health services to ensure effective governance and accountability.
The major benefits from the common chart of accounts are:
- standardised and streamlined reporting
- technology efficiencies for reporting activities and therefore reduced time, effort and costs
- improved access and interrogation of financial data for more effective decision-making
- ability to benchmark against other health services, to share knowledge and to learn from other individual health service experiences
- creation of an industry standard, including standardised terminology, definitions and codes, which assist communications and be understood by all.
The common chart of accounts uses standardised names and codes, and provides rules to assist in implementation. Implementation by health services aims to support reporting best practice through consistent reporting formats, benchmarking and improved data tracking. Health services are also required to implement any amendments to the common chart of accounts that may be introduced from time to time.