Ipsas Board publishes principles for more informative public sector reports

14 Jan 13
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board has published the concepts that will underpin more user-friendly accrual-based accounting standards for the public sector.

By Nick Mann | 14 January 2013

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board has published the concepts that will underpin more user-friendly accrual-based accounting standards for the public sector.

The first four chapters of the are intended to reflect the fact that the main users of public sector general purpose financial reports are the people who provide services and the people who use them.

Users’ need for information for accountability and decision-making purposes means the scope of financial reporting by public sector entities should be more comprehensive than the information they include in their financial statements, the documents explains. General purpose financial reports could, for example, include whether a public sector body achieved its service delivery objectives and what it plans to do in future.

The chapters published last week also identify the qualitative information that should be included in general purpose financial reports and the constraints on this, as well as the key characteristics of a public sector reporting entity.

Andreas Bergmann, chair of the Ipsas Board, said: ‘The publication of the Conceptual framework’s first four chapters is a major landmark for the Ipsas and the setting of global accounting standards for the public sector.

‘These concepts will provide the basis for the ongoing development of consistent and useful Ipsas and Recommended practice guidelines, and for the other three phases of the Conceptual framework. They will also provide guidance to preparers faced with financial reporting issues not dealt with by Ipsas or RPGs.’

Other chapters of the Conceptual framework will address the definition, recognition and measurement of the building blocks of financial statements, and how they are presented in General purpose financial reports. They will be added to the framework when they are completed.

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