ln my opinion, the financial statements of the Reserve Bank of Australia and its Controlled Entity (together the consolidated entity) for the year ended 30 June 2019:
(a) comply with Australian Accounting Standards and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability (Financial Reporting)Rule 2015; and
(b) present fairly the financial position of the consolidated Entity as at 30 June 2019 and its financial performance and cash flows for the year then ended.
The financial statements of the consolidated entity, which I have audited, comprise the following statements as at 30 June 2019 and for the year then ended:
Statement of Assurance;
Statement of Financial Position;
Statement of Comprehensive lncome;
Statement of Distribution;
Statement of Changes in Capital and Reserves;
Cash Flow Statement; and
Notes to and Forming Part of the Financial Statements, including Accounting Policies and other explanatory information.
Basis for opinion
I conducted my audit in accordance with the Australian National Audit Office Auditing Standards, which incorporate the Australian Auditing Standards. My responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditor’s Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements section of my report. I am independent of the consolidated entity in accordance with the relevant ethical requirements for financial statement audits conducted by me. These include the relevant independence requirements of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board's APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (the Code) to the extent that they are not in conflict with the Auditor-General Act 1997. I have also fulfilled my other responsibilities in accordance with the Code. I believe that the audit evidence I have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my opinion.
Key Audit Matters
Key audit matters are those matters that, in my professional judgement, were of most significance in my audit of the financial statements of the current period. These matters were addressed in the context of my audit of the financial statement as a whole, and in forming my opinion thereon, and I do not provide a separate opinion on these matters.
Key audit matter
Accuracy of the liability for the Australian Banknotes
Refer to note 1 'Accounting Policies'
The balance of Australian banknotes on issue represents the value of all banknotes on issue and the liability ($80,024m as at 30 June 2019) is measured at the face value of all Australian banknotes issued less any banknotes withdrawn from circulation.
Australian banknotes on issue relates directly to one of the Reserve Bank of Australia's key roles, the issuance of currency, as defined in the Reserve Bank Act 1959 and is a key audit matter due to:
high interest to the users of the financial statements;
the balance is significant relative to the Reserve Bank of Australia's Statement of Financial Position; and
the accuracy of the liability for Australian banknotes on issue is dependent on the assumption that all Australian banknotes on issue retain their legal tender status. The audit of this assumption requires significant auditor judgement.
How the audit addressed the matter
To audit the Australian banknotes on issue, I performed the following audit procedures:
tested design and effectiveness of key controls relevant to the accurate recording of the issuance and return of banknotes, including general lT controls over the Note Control System;
agreed the liability for Australian banknotes on issue recorded in the financial statements to the balance recorded in the Note Control System as at 30 June 2019;
assessed the movement in Australian banknotes on issue against known comparative trends. Demand for banknotes is driven, predominantly by underlying economic activity. I therefore compared movements in Notes on lssue against underlying economic activity, in particular household final consumption expenditure (HFCE). HFCE is produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and measures household expenditure;
performed a comparison of current year movements against prior year patterns, and investigated significant variances; and
performed a trend analysis on Australian banknotes on issue against prior periods focusing on the number of notes issued by denomination and investigated significant variances.
Key audit matter
Valuation of Australian dollar and foreign currency investments
Refer to note 1 'Accounting Policies' and note 15 'Financial lnstruments and Risk'
Valuation of Australian dollar and foreign currency investments was a key audit matter due to their significant size relative to the Reserve Bank of Australia's statement of financial position ($174,054m as at 30 June 2019) and the complexity inherent in auditing a wide range of investments which use different valuation methodologies.
The portfolio of investments primarily comprises Australian dollar securities, foreign currency securities, repurchase agreements, deposits with other central banks, and foreign currency swap contracts. All investments are measured at fair value except for reverse repurchase agreements and deposits which are measured at amortised cost.
How the audit addressed the matter
To audit the valuation of Australian dollar and foreign currency investments, I performed the following audit procedures:
- tested design and operating effectiveness of key relevant controls over the accurate recording of the purchase and sale of investments, including general lT controls on the Reserve Bank of Australia's investment trading system;
- tested design and effectiveness of key controls relevant to the ongoing monitoring of the collateralisation of repurchase agreements; and
- tested year end valuations of Australian dollar and foreign currency securities using the following procedures:
checked all year end valuations of Australian dollar and foreign government securities and foreign currency swaps against independent pricing sources;
tested the year-end valuations of all foreign currency swaps using independent publicly available information;
checked whether all reverse repurchase agreements were appropriately collateralised in line with the Reserve Bank of Australia's policy. As part of this, for a sample of securities held as collateral I agreed valuations to independent pricing sources; and
requested and obtained independent confirmation from other central banks regarding the value of deposits held with them.
The Accountable Authority is responsible for the other information. The other information comprises the information included in the annual report for the year ended 30 June 2019 but does not include the financial statements and my auditor's report thereon.
My opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and accordingly I do not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon.
ln connection with my audit of the financial statements, my responsibility is to read the other information and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements or my knowledge obtained in the audit, or otherwise appears to be materially misstated.
lf, based on the work I have performed, I conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, I am required to report that fact. I have nothing to report in this regard.
Accountable Authority's responsibility for the financial statements
As the Accountable Authority of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Governor is responsible under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (the Act) for the preparation and fair presentation of annual financial statements that comply with Australian Accounting and the rules made under the Act. The Governor is also responsible for such internal control as the Governor determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
ln preparing the financial statements, the Governor is responsible for assessing the ability of the consolidated entity to continue as a going concern, taking into account whether the entities' operations will cease as a result of an administrative restructure or for any other reason. The Governor is also responsible for disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless the assessment indicates that it is not appropriate.
Auditor's responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements
My objective is to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor's report that includes my opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with the Australian National Audit Office Auditing Standards will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of the financial statements.
As part of an audit in accordance with the Australian National Audit Office Auditing Standards, I exercise professional judgement and maintain professional scepticism throughout the audit. I also:
identify and assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to fraud or error, design and perform audit procedures responsive to those risks, and obtain audit evidence that is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my opinion. The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, forgery, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control;
obtain an understanding of internal control relevant to the audit in order to design audit procedures that are appropriate in the circumstances, but not for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the effectiveness of the consolidated entity's internal control;
evaluate the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates and related disclosures made by the Accountable Authority;
conclude on the appropriateness of the Accountable Authority's use of the going concern basis of accounting and, based on the audit evidence obtained, whether a material uncertainty exists related to events or conditions that may cast significant doubt on the consolidated entity's ability to continue as a going concern. lf I conclude that a material uncertainty exists, I am required to draw attention in my auditor's report to the related disclosures in the financial statements or, if such disclosures are inadequate, to modify my opinion. My conclusions are based on the audit evidence obtained up to the date of my auditor's report. However, future events or conditions may cause the Entity or the consolidated entity's to cease to continue as a going concern;
evaluate the overall presentation, structure and content of the financial statements, including the disclosures, and whether the financial statements represent the underlying transactions and events in a manner that achieves fair presentation; and
obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence regarding the financial information of the entities or business activities within the consolidated entity to express an opinion on the financial report. I am responsible for the direction, supervision and performance of the consolidated entity audit. I remain solely responsible for my audit opinion.
I communicate with the Accountable Authority regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that I identify during my audit.
From the matters communicated with those charged with governance, I determine those matters that were of most significance in the audit of the financial report of the current period and are therefore the key audit matters. I describe these matters in my auditor's report unless law or regulation precludes public disclosure about the matter or when, in extremely rare circumstances, I determine that a matter should not be communicated in my report because the adverse consequences of doing so would reasonably be expected to outweigh the public interest benefits of such communication.
Australian National Audit Office
4 September 2019