IPSASB seeks views on accruals-focused four-year work plan

6 Feb 18

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board is seeking views on its draft strategy and work plan for the period 2019-23.

Ian CarruthersA consultation document, published yesterday, proposed that stronger public financial management through increased adoption of accrual-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) be the board’s overriding strategic objective.

This, it suggested, should be supported by two main areas of activity: further development of IPSAS and other financial reporting guidance for the public sector; and work to raise awareness of IPSAS and the benefits of accrual adoption.

On this latter point, the foreword to the consultation paper states that IPSASB intends to work more closely with global and regional bodies to raise the profile of IPSAS with financial regulators and markets, which have the potential to be champions of IPSAS adoption.

Ian Carruthers, chair of IPSASB [pictured right], said: “The IPSASB will continue to focus on developing standards addressing public sector specific financial reporting issues.

“However, the proposed strategy also emphasises the importance of the IPSASB working with others to ensure that the great benefits of IPSAS implementation are more widely understood and that the power of accrual reporting in supporting PFM reforms is fully recognised.”

Among the paper’s specific proposals are projects on accounting for natural resources, the discount rates used in the measurement of long-lived assets and liabilities, and differential reporting, which will explore the potential for a less complex set of requirements for smaller public sector bodies.  

The board said these three projects would all provide “great public interest benefits to a wide range of constituents”.

The consultation also states that IPSASB intends to work to ensure that it maintains convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards, where appropriate.

Comments are requested by 15 June and can be submitted via the IPSASB website. The board has also scheduled a series of round tables and outreach events for the consultation period.

Approval of a final strategy and work plan for 2019-23 is expected in December.

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