Heritage Assets

  • Heritage Assets

    Project Status

    Additional analysis being performed on selected issues to assist finalizing a formal project brief.


    John Stanford

    Task Force

    Subcommittee was established to oversee development and publication of initial consultation paper in February 2006 - Australia, France, New Zealand, South Africa and United Kingdom. There is currently no subcommittee.

    Objective(s) of project

    Developing accounting and disclosure requirements for heritage assets.


    To be determined.


    IPSAS 17, Property, Plant and Equipment was approved in November 2001. IPSAS 17 neither defines heritage assets nor requires recognition of heritage assets. It does include some characteristics of such assets. If heritage assets are recognized by a public sector entity, the IPSAS requires applying its disclosure requirements and allows but does not require applying its measurement requirements.


    Issues the project intends to consider include (but not necessarily limited to):


    • Approach - separate standard or amending IPSAS 17;
    • Defining "heritage assets;"
    • Recognition and measurement:

      • Follow the requirements in IPSAS 17;
      • Non-recognition of existing heritage items, but recognition of items meeting heritage asset definition going forward; and
      • Non-recognition entirely and expensing new acquisitions.
    • Appropriate measurement bases: if they are recognized and measured;
    • Valuation approaches;
    • Depreciation/Impairment;
    • Additional disclosures for heritage assets;
    • Redesignation of heritage assets as operational property, plant and equipment, and vice-versa; and
    • Others, e.g., heritage assets transferred, held in trust and owned but not operated by the state.

    Task Force progress / Board discussions to date

    February 2009: No decision yet taken to reactivate project.

    March 2008 - Project included in work plan for 2008-2009 with view to re-activation in first half of 2009.

    May 2007 - Due to other priorities, decison taken not to progress this project further in 2008.

    March 2007 - The IPSASB reviewed a project brief and agreed that the final project objective is for accounting and disclosure requirements for heritage assets either through a separate standard or amending IPSAS 17. They thought that further analysis of the issues would assist in determining next steps in the project. These include definition, recognition and valuation approaches. Cost-benefit is pervasive to these areas.

    November 2006 - IPSASB reviewed submissions of the CP. Submissions indicate considerable support for the United Kingdom Accounting Standards Board's (ASB's) proposals on definition and the need for additional disclosures with two significant and contrasting views on recognition and measurement. One view favors no deviation from IPSAS 17 requirements. The other favors non-recognition, primarily on cost-benefit grounds.

    November 2005 - The IPSASB approves publication of a Consultation Paper incorporating at its core the recently published UK discussion paper, Heritage Assets: Can Accounting do Better? The Consultation Paper was published in February 2006 with a response date of June 30, 2006.

    July 2005 - IPSASB receives an issues paper prepared by UK ASB Secretariat with IPSASB subcommittee comments and agrees to receive a copy of the UK discussion paper in November 2005.

    March 2005 - IPSASB agrees to work with the UK ASB to jointly develop a heritage assets discussion paper. An IPSASB subcommittee assists.

    November 2004 - A project brief on accounting for heritage assets was reviewed with a decision not to proceed with a project due to resource considerations.


Important Note: Please read our website Terms of Use.

ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED. You may not reproduce, store or transmit in any form or by any means, electronic or otherwise, including photocopying, recording, or storage in any type of reference or information retrieval system, nor may you translate, modify or create derivative works or adaptations based on the text of any file, or any part thereof, without the prior written permission of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). Please direct permission requests to permissions@ifac.org. See also Permissions Information.