The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has recently published a 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.”
Comments can be made to the New Zealand Accounting Standards Board (NZASB) addressed to the Chairman, New Zealand Accounting Standards Board, PO Box 11250, Manners Street Central, Wellington 6142, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments can address any or all of the issues in the paper. Comments can also be made electronically to the IPSASB website (www.ipsasb.org), using the “Submit a Comment” link.
Comments are due to the NZASB by 28 February 2013 and to the IPSASB by 31 March 2013.
Read IPSASB CP – IPSASs and Government Finance Statistics Reporting Guidelines (October 2012)
Read IPSASB At a Glance – IPSASs and Government Finance Statistics Reporting Guidelines (October 2012)