The 11th annual OECD public sector accruals symposium was held on 3-4 March 2011 in Paris. The meeting was chaired by Ian Mackintosh, Vice-Chair of the International Accounting Standards Board.
Thursday 3 March 2011
Report by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB): This session was designed to update delegates on developments with regard to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). It provided a progress report on the Board’s ongoing work on promulgating standards, and discussion of the Board’s overall strategy and work programme.Presentation by John Stanford and Ian Carruthers
Report by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB): This session was designed to update delegates on developments with regard to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and their implications for the public sector.
Report by United States Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB): This session was designed to update delegates on developments with regard to United States Federal Accounting Standards. It provided a progress report on the Board’s ongoing work on promulgating standards and discussion of the Board’s overall strategy and work programme.Presentation by Mark Reger
Report by the Statistics Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF): This session was designed to update delegates on developments with regard to Government Finance Statistics (GFS), including the process under way for updating the GFS manual to harmonise with the 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA). It also discussed divergences between national accounting and financial accounting and their implications.Presentation by Sagé de Clerck
Report by the Statistical Office of the European Commission (EUROSTAT): This session was designed to update delegates on developments with regard to the European System of Accounts (ESA). It provided a progress report on Eurostat's ongoing and future work on promulgating regulations on national accounting in Europe. Eurostat also discussed its new verification powers in regard to reporting of fiscal statistics by European governments.
The Organisation and Functions of Government Accounting and Financial Management Services: There is considerable variety across countries in this field. This session discussed the institutional arrangements in place at the centre and in spending ministries/agencies, and their respective roles in accounting and financial management. It highlighted the use of information technology systems and other initiatives to promote efficiency and effectiveness. The session also discussed the relationship between accounting and financial management officers and “substantive” officers in spending ministries/agencies.
Implementing Accruals – Country Experiences: This session was designed to take stock of country experiences with implementing accruals. Implementation of accruals has taken many forms. Accruals have been introduced for specific types of transactions only; introduced for use at the agency level only; and introduced for consolidated whole-of-government financial reporting. A few countries have also introduced accruals for budget appropriations.
This session focused on concrete lessons with implementing accruals, including overall project management, and how the introduction of accruals may fit into overall public management reforms.
Friday, 4 March 2011
IPSASB Conceptual Framework (Exposure Draft 1, December 2010): The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board is in the process of developing a "Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting (GPFR) by Public Sector Entities" which will establish and define the concepts to be applied in developing International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) and other documents that provide guidance on information included in GPFRs. Although all the components of the conceptual framework are interconnected, the conceptual framework project is being developed in phases. The components have been grouped as follows, and are being considered in the following sequence:
The relevant documents (“exposure drafts”) on the conceptual framework can be downloaded from www.ipsasb.org.
Presentation by Andreas Bergmann, IPSASB
Structure and Format of Government Financial Statements: Governments are modernising the structure and format of their financial statements in order to present the information in a more user-friendly manner. This has involved identifying and addressing the needs of the various users of financial statements. This session provided examples of how government financial statements have been modernised in terms of: restructuring their content; new presentational formats, design and content; and specific initiatives to simplify the language used. The role of summary reports and citizens’ guides was highlighted.
Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean of the London Business School and former Head of the Government Accountancy Service and Managing Director of the United Kingdom Treasury, as well as inaugural chair of the OECD accruals symposium, opened the discussion.
Future Work Programme: This session allowed delegates to identify emerging priority areas for future work, the nature of their interest in the subject, and their willingness to participate in particular studies.