IPSASB Achieves Goal of Substantial Convergence With IFRSs

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    Dec 21, 2009
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    IPSASB Achieves Goal of Substantial Convergence With IFRSs

    At its December 8-11 meeting in Rome, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) achieved its strategic goal of substantial convergence with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) dated December 31, 2008, with a series of new or improved standards.

    Three of these new International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) deal with financial instruments—in terms of presentation, recognition and measurement, and disclosures. A fourth standard covers intangible assets and an improvements standard makes minor changes to existing IPSASs. They are primarily drawn from IFRSs, with limited changes dealing with public sector-specific issues. In addition, the board approved an exposure draft covering service concessions.

    “In the current global economic environment, when governments are increasingly raising debt through the capital markets as a result of their financial interventions in the private sector, the need for certainty in the application of well-developed financial instruments standards has particular urgency,” states Mike Hathorn, Chair of the IPSASB. “Achieving convergence is also crucial to enhancing transparency at this time of large scale government interventions,” he adds.

    The December 2009 meeting was the last under Mr. Hathorn’s chairmanship; his three-year term ends on December 31, 2009—a period that has seen a significant increase in momentum in global interest in and adoption of IPSASB standards.  “During the last 12 months in particular, the achievement of the board and its staff in progressing convergence with IFRSs standards has been outstanding—and I am confident that it will meet the increasing needs of the global public sector in the future,” he concludes.

    The new standards and exposure draft will be available to download free of charge from the IFAC website (web.ifac.org/publications) in January 2010.

    About IFAC
    IFAC (www.ifac.org) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. It is comprised of 159 members and associates in 124 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.


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