This information explains what the two "snapshots" show about timeliness, and draw a reader's attention to the care that needs to be taken when looking at the data (because different types of organisations have different reporting deadlines).

This attachment provides two snapshots of the timeliness of public entities’ reporting of their annual financial statements and statements of service performance (where relevant). The first snapshot, on page 5, is for 2016/17, and the second snapshot, on page 6, is for 2013/14.

For many public entities, legislation specifies the timeframe for reporting. The deadline for reporting varies from three months to five months after the entity’s balance date – and balance dates also vary. For other entities, the timeframe and deadline are set out in their founding documents (such as trust deeds).

If a deadline for reporting or completing the annual audit is not specified, we apply a date of five months from the entity’s balance date to assess timeliness.

To provide the snapshots of the timeliness of reporting, we looked at the timeliness of audit reports due between 1 July and 30 June for each 12-month period. Any entities with audit reports issued after their reporting deadline but before 30 June were late in meeting their reporting deadlines. Entities with audit reports still not completed as at 30 June had audit reports that had not been issued.

Care needs to be taken in comparing the performance of different types of public entities. In drawing our line for analysis at 30 June, entities that were late and had a reporting deadline at the end of May were no more than one month late. Entities that were late and had a reporting deadline at the end of September could have been up to nine months late.

The number of public entities reporting has decreased between 2013/14 and 2016/17 by 175. This is mainly as a result of changes to legislation, which removed the requirement for subsidiaries of Crown entities to separately report, and some subsidiaries taking advantage of that legislative change. The subsidiaries’ financial and performance information continues to be included in the consolidated financial statements and performance information of the ultimate Crown entity, and the information is subject to audit.