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IPSASB Publishes Consultation Paper on IPSASs and Government Finance Statistics Reporting Guidelines
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) today released for comment the Consultation Paper (CP), IPSASs and Government Finance Statistics Reporting Guidelines. The Consultation Paper was developed by a task force that includes representation from both the IPSASB and the statistical community, including international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and Eurostat, and national representatives from Brazil, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Switzerland.
The Consultation Paper aims to help reduce differences between Government Finance Statistics (GFS) reporting guidelines and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs). It provides an overview of differences between GFS reporting guidelines and IPSASs, and identifies opportunities to reduce these differences for consideration by either the IPSASB or the statistical community.
The Consultation Paper also aims to support governments’ use of integrated financial information systems that can generate both IPSAS financial statements and GFS reports. Using a single integrated financial information system can result in significant benefits, including reduction of GFS report preparation time, costs, and effort. Improvements are also likely to the source data for GFS reports, with flow-on benefits in terms of report quality.
Use of audited financial reporting data prepared on an accrual basis will substantially improve the data used for the preparation of GFS reports and therefore for policy making. The use of high-quality upstream data is a matter of urgency, considering the issues which led to the sovereign debt crisis.
“Both governments’ general purpose financial reports and their financial statistics on the general government sector provide important information about governments’ finances,” said IPSASB Chair Andreas Bergmann. “This Consultation Paper shows that there is further scope to reduce differences between IPSASs and GFS reporting guidelines, with benefits to the users of both types of reports. It also proposes practical ways that governments can improve their management of such differences, so as to efficiently generate data for both their IPSAS financial statements and GFS reports from the same integrated financial information system.”
How to Comment
To access the Consultation Paper and the At-a-Glance document, which provides a summary, or to submit a comment, please visit the IPSASB website. Comments are requested by March 31, 2013. The IPSASB encourages IFAC members, associates, and regional accountancy bodies to promote the availability of this Consultation Paper to their members and employees.
About the IPSASB
The IPSASB develops accounting standards and guidance for use by public sector entities. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IPSASB are facilitated by IFAC. The IPSASB receives support (both direct financial and in-kind) from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations and the governments of Canada, China, New Zealand, and Switzerland.
IFAC 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. IFAC is comprised of 167 members and associates in 127 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.
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