The contribution of International research networks on public sector accounting towards improved public sector financial management and reporting
Over the last decades, the sovereign debt crisis has brought under the spotlight the need of enhancing transparency and accountability and strengthening finance management and reporting of public sector entities in Europe and around the world.
At European level, the EPSAS project has been launched with the aim of introducing harmonised European Public Sector Accounting Standards based on the principles of accrual budgeting and accounting applicable to all Member States. However, many questions are still open about the EPSAS: are EPSAS a new set of standards developed by an ad-hoc created European standard setter? To what extent are EPSAS a European translation of IPSAS? Which IPSAS need to be changed and how?
The IPSASB has celebrated the 20th anniversary of the standard-setting program and published the Conceptual Framework, which represents a milestone in global public sector financial reporting. The IPSASB is in the process of updating existing standards and developing new standards for public sector specific issues, such as heritage assets, non-exchange transactions, social benefits, etc.
The CIGAR network, the EGPA PSG XII, and the Accounting and Accountability SIG of the IRSPM have jointly established a task force that brings together members of the three research networks interested in playing an active and influential role in the worldwide process of developing high quality public sector financial reports. The mission of the task force is to assist the EU legislator and the IPSASB in their efforts to improve public sector financial management and reporting, by drafting theoretically sound and empirically embedded documents, either spontaneously, or in response to an invitation to provide comments and empirical evidence, for example, on exposure drafts.
To date, the task force has contributed on the following consultations:
30 September 2017: IPSAS Consultation Paper Financial Reporting for Heritage in the Public Sector
15 January 2018: IPSAS Consultation Paper for Accounting for Revenue and Non-Exchange Expenses
The task force is currently working on the following consultation:
Exposure Draft 63 Social Benefits