Accountability. Now. eNews: September 2017
Sep 29, 2017 | English
- New International Public Sector Financial Accountability Index to Stimulate Reform
- 75% of OECD Countries Use Accrual Accounting for Year-End Financial Reports
- Caribbean Countries: On the Reform Path
- A Focus on PFM in West Africa
- Accountability Matters: A Rights-based Approach in Public Financial Management
- Transparency and Beyond: Harnessing the Power of Accrual for Public Finances
- When Corruption Becomes a Way of Life, and What to Do about It
- Five Lessons and Two Wishes for Good Governance in the Public Sector
Major Events in 2017
- OECD Budget Transparency Toolkit
- Building Blocks of PFM – A Cash to Accruals Toolkit
- Delivering Excellent Public Finance
- Keeping Business Clean: A CGMA Guide to Countering Fraud and Corruption
1. New International Public Sector Financial Accountability Index to Stimulate Reform
At the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)’s 2017 Conference in Manchester, UK, IFAC and CIPFA announced the launch of the International Public Sector Financial Accountability Index.
Developed jointly by both organizations, with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences as knowledge partner, the Index aims to provide a better understanding of accounting and budgeting reform plans to help stimulate wider public financial management (PFM) reform efforts. It covers the following arrangements in each jurisdiction:
- Current accounting basis and the reporting standards used in financial statements
- Financial reporting standard-setting structure and processes
- Current recognition basis for budgets
- Budget and accounting reform plans
2. 75% of OECD Countries Use Accrual Accounting for Year-End Financial Reports
A report by IFAC and the International Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) explores accounting and budgeting practices at the national government level in OECD countries. It concludes that nearly three-quarters of OECD countries have adopted accrual accounting for their year-end financial reports and more than a quarter now prepare their annual budgets on an accrual basis.
While there is low direct adoption by national governments of international accounting standards, such as the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), many standard setters use IPSAS or IFRS as primary or explicit references for developing their national standards.
3. Caribbean Countries: On the Reform Path
For years, Caribbean countries have been motivated to incorporate international accounting standards into their national regulations. Accrual Accounting Practices and Reform Expectations in the Caribbean, a survey organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC), IFAC and the World Bank, charts the state of the region’s public financial management (PFM) reforms. It facilitates a better understanding of reform designs, implementation challenges, and associated benefits.
After reported reforms are implemented, the regional balance will move toward accrual-based accuonting with nine of the surveyed countries expected to implement IPSAS and another six to use N-IPSAS.
4. A Focus on PFM in West Africa
Commissioned by IFAC and the World Bank, Professor Emeritus Alain Burlaud examines the status of public sector financial reporting in 18 Francophone African countries, highlighting the urgent need to improve public financial reporting quality and increase the number of professional accountants in the region.
Unless public sector leaders are held accountable, protests like the ones seen in Greece will be repeated. Marcel Holder Robinson, Finance Policy Manager (Governments), CIPFA, explains her perspective.
Curious about the use of balance sheets to manage fiscal risk, the increased use of government financial reports in capital markets, and taking a whole system approach to PFM reforms? Check out these conversations with IPSASB, World Bank, and IMF leaders following a March seminar that explored next steps for accrual accounting in the public sector.
Vickson Ncube, Chief Executive Officer, Pan African Federation of Accountants, urges citizens in African countries to hold accountable those charged with the responsibility of managing resources, whether in the public or private sector. He represented IFAC at the Africa High Level Public Procurement Forum, where he also argued that no country should allow itself to be a haven for corrupt proceeds from Africa.
Auditors care about the governance arrangements of their auditees. Peter Welch, Audit Director, European Court of Auditors, provides his perspective on what good governance in the public sector means for the European Commission and what he wishes to see in the future.
Major Events in 2017
June 6-9 – Mexico City, Mexico
IFAC actively supported the 10th Regional CReCER Conference on Accounting and Accountability for Regional Economic Growth: Fostering Trust for Regional Economic Growth. The conference reflected the need for trust in both government and the private sector to help manage public resources more effectively.
2. Open Government Partnership Americas Regional Meeting
November 21-22 – Buenos Aires, Argentina
As part of Open Government Week, this meeting will bring over 2,000 representatives from governments and civil society, digital innovators, journalists, and researchers to further the open government agenda in the face of current global challenges. IFAC will present its new International Public Sector Financial Accountability Index to stimulate PFM reform and will engage with regional representatives to further update the Index with information from their respective countries.
1. OECD Budget Transparency Toolkit
Developed in partnership with members of the Global Initiative of Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) Network, including IFAC, the OECD’s Budget Transparency Toolkit offers a gateway to global budget and fiscal transparency institutions. It also highlights official instruments, standards, and guidance materials and demonstrates how these tools can be applied across various areas of the budgeting cycle.
Read more from OECD Deputy Head Ronnie Downes.
2. Building Blocks of PFM – A Cash to Accruals Toolkit
As part of its Better Government Series, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) recently issued a practical "how-to" guide which sets out six practical building blocks to improve the quality of public financial reporting and public financial management.
3. Delivering Excellent Public Finance
CIPFA has developed this interactive portal to support a diverse range of information and tools dedicated to the shared aim of strengthening PFM worldwide.
4. Keeping Business Clean: A CGMA Guide to Countering Fraud and Corruption
In a very timely piece, the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA) outlines the role of management accountants in establishing best practices for combatting fraud and corruption in their organization.