IPSASB opens consultation on heritage reporting

18 Apr 17

IPSASB has called for views on its proposals on how the public sector should deal with heritage items in its accounts.



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Heritage assets are those that public bodies plan to hold and preserve for the benefit of future generations because of their rarity or significance. IPSASB believes that having these special characteristics do not prevent them from being assets for the purpose of financial reporting.

The board released a consultation paper last week calling for comments on its position, which also suggests heritage items should be recognised in statements if they meet certain recognition criteria under IPSAS and that it will be possible to assign them a monetary value in most cases.

The paper also discusses issues including the initial and subsequent measurement of heritage assets and whether heritage preservation responsibilities should be recognised as liabilities.

It can be accessed via the IPSASB website, with comments requested by 30 September 2017. IPSASB particularly encourages members and associates of the International Federation of Accountants and regional accountancy organisations to promote the consultation among their members and employees.

Ian Carruthers, chair of IPSASB, explained that a common standard on heritage reporting would tackle the wide variety in practices, which limits the comparability of public sector entities’ financial reports.

“Many public sector entities have heritage responsibilities and this consultation paper is a first step towards developing financial reporting guidance to support accountability and decision making in this area,” he said.

“We look forward to receiving constituents’ views on our proposals.”

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