IPSASB proposes new strategy for public sector accounting

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The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board has proposed a new strategy and work plan for 2019 through 2023.

The IPSASB, which is supported by the International Federation of Accountants, has proposed to strengthen public financial management globally through increased adoption of its own accrual-based International Public Sector Accounting Standard, raising awareness of the standards and emphasizing the benefits of accrual accounting adoption.

Other priorities include maintaining convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards “where appropriate,” and developing standards for crucial areas in public sector accounting, including accounting for natural resources, differential reporting and heritage assets.

The IPSASB wants to help foster greater sustainability and confidence in public sector accounting with the new standards. The need for better accountability in the public sector was highlighted by a report Monday on Politico of an audit by Ernst & Young of the Pentagon’s Defense Logistics Agency, which found it failed to properly document over $800 million in construction projects and the agency’s financial management is so flawed it can’t reliably keep track of its funds.

“The IPSASB will continue to focus on developing standards addressing public sector specific financial reporting issues,” said IPSASB chair Ian Carruthers in a statement. “However, the proposed strategy also emphasizes 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 recognized.”

The IPSASB is asking for feedback on the proposed strategy and work plan by June 15. To access the consultation document and a summary at-a-glance document, or to submit a comment, visit www.ipsasb.org.

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Accounting standards International accounting Government accounting