Proposed limited-scope updates to the IPSASB Conceptual Framework

Proposed limited-scope updates to the IPSASB Conceptual Framework

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has recently issued for comment ED 81 Conceptual Framework Update: Chapter 3, Qualitative Characteristics and Chapter 5, Elements in Financial Statements (the ED).

The Framework establishes the concepts that are applied by the IPSASB when developing international public sector accounting standards (IPSAS). Preparers of general purpose financial reports also use the Framework when developing accounting policies for a transaction not covered by a standard.

 The XRB’s Public Benefit Entities’ Conceptual Framework, which applies to public benefit entities (PBEs) in both the public and not-for-profit sectors, is based on the IPSASB’s Framework.

The ED proposes to amend the IPSASB Framework in the following areas:

  • Chapter 3: Qualitative Characteristics. The amendments clarify the role of prudence and update the guidance on materiality.
  • Chapter 5: Elements in Financial Statements. This includes a revised definition of a liability that refers to ‘transfer of resources’, amendments to the description of a ‘resource’ in the context of the definition of an asset, and amendments to the related guidance on assets and liabilities. New guidance is also proposed on the ‘unit of account’ – the unit to which recognition criteria and measurement concepts are applied.

Your feedback is important

We encourage you to read the ED and to share your comments with us.

The XRB’s approach to developing PBE Standards is based around the principle that our Tier 1 and Tier 2 Standards are primarily based on IPSAS. When the IPSASB amends its Conceptual Framework based on the proposals in the ED, we would consult with you again before proposing to introduce the amendments into our New Zealand PBE Conceptual Framework.

It is important that we receive comments from preparers, readers of PBE financial reports and other stakeholders, so that a New Zealand view is presented to the IPSASB.

Your comments also help us ensure that the updates to the Conceptual Framework provide for appropriate reporting outcomes for public sector and not-for-profit reporting entities in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Consultation Documents

Please click the following link to access IPSASB ED 81, as well as an ‘At a Glance’ document and an explanatory video:

How to provide feedback

This is your opportunity to comment on the IPSASB’s proposals.

Please send us your comments—both formal and informal—by 15 April 2022, using the secure upload form below.

All comments received will be considered and will form part of the feedback we share with the IPSASB.

You could also choose to send your comments directly to the IPSASB (due by 31 May 2022), by clicking on the following link: 


We intend on publishing all comments on the XRB website, unless they may be defamatory. If you have any objection to this, we will not publish them. However, they will remain subject to the Official Information Act 1982 and, therefore, may be released in part or in full. The Privacy Act 2020 also applies.