The National Treasury embarked on a budget reform program in 1999 aiming at improving accountability and modernising the accounts of government; primarily by bringing budget and expenditure reporting in line with international best practice. The ultimate aim of this reform remains unchanged – it is to provide better quality information to legislatures to assist in the policy making process and to reinforce Parliament’s oversight role.
The first part of the reform was the introduction of a new, standardised chart of accounts and new economic reporting format for national and provincial government departments in 2004. In this SCOA a standard list of expenditure items aligned with international accounting and economic reporting standards replaced the original “standard item” configuration in the financial systems.
The SCOA in essence comprises the coding of items used for classification, budgeting, recording and reporting of revenues and expenditures within the accounting system, in order to facilitate the recording of all transactions affecting assets and liabilities.
Prior to implementation of the budget format and SCOA in 2004, the project team highlighted the need to rationalise the SCOA structure in the systems once sufficient conclusions regarding the challenges posed by the data structure were observed. The past three fiscal cycles have served as this period, and the SCOA team had now introduced a second round of structural improvements, called the “SCOA toning” project. These proposed changes have been implemented with effect of 1 April 2008.
The website aims in providing practioners with documents, presentations, classification circulars and the latest updates on the chart of accounts.
We trust that the website will provide you with that up-to-date information and the SCOA team would like to invite you to contact us with your thoughts and suggestions.