The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board wants to know more about how government accountants in developing countries are using cash-basis reporting.

The IPSASB, which operates under the auspices of the International Federation of Accountants, has appointed a task force to review the International Public Sector Accounting Standard, “Financial Reporting under the Cash Basis of Accounting.” As part of the review process, the board is asking those who have been involved in the adoption of the cash-basis IPSAS in developing economies—or who have been exposed to the standard—to complete a questionnaire on their experiences, or anticipated experiences, with respect to implementation issues.

The questionnaire, along with an invitation letter that more fully explains the review process, can be downloaded from the IPSASB Web site at www.ifac.org/PublicSector/Projects.php#InProgress. The materials are available in English, Spanish and French. Responses are due July 15, 2009. The board hopes to receive answers from ministers of finance, heads of finance departments or their equivalents, users of financial reports, advisors, and other financial management experts, including members of national and international aid agencies.

“While the IPSASB promotes the adoption of the accrual basis of accounting, it also recognizes that many governments adopt a form of cash or modified cash-basis reporting, and it has a responsibility to support those jurisdictions in strengthening their cash-basis financial reports,” said IPSASB Chair Mike Hathorn (pictured) in a statement, The cash-basis standard, first issued in January 2003, was updated in 2006 and 2007.

The primary objective of the review is to identify the major technical issues that governments and other public sector entities in developing economies have encountered, or expect to encounter, in implementing the standard, according to IPSASB deputy chair Erna Swart, who chairs the task force.

The feedback will provide the board with input for its deliberations on whether the standard should be modified, or if further guidance on its application is needed. The task force plans to undertake more detailed discussions with officials in various parts of the world who respond to the questionnaire.

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