The project’s objective is to develop accounting requirements for heritage assets. A consultation paper (CP) will be developed. That is expected to lead to an exposure draft (ED) of proposed revisions to IPSAS 17, Property, Plant and Equipment (or other IPSASs). A Recommended Practice Guideline may also result.
A Task Force consists of:
- Bernhard Schatz (Chair)
- Michel Camoin
- Adriana Tiron Tudor
- Amanda Botha
- David Tomback
- Domenic Savini
This project was identified as a priority for the IPSASB during its 2013–2014 strategy and work plan consultation. The IPSASB approved the project brief in June 2015.
The issue of accounting for heritage assets first arose during development of IPSAS 17, Property, Plant and Equipment. IPSAS 17 allows, but does not require, an entity to recognize heritage assets that meet the definition of property, plant and development. In 2001, when IPSAS 17 was approved, the IPSASB’s predecessor—the IFAC Public Sector Committee—acknowledged that further work on heritage assets would be necessary.
In 2004 the IPSASB commenced a project on accounting for heritage assets. The project involved collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Accounting Standards Board (the UK ASB). A CP was published in February 2006. The CP consisted of a discussion paper developed and approved by the UK ASB, with an introduction and preface developed by the IPSASB’s Heritage Assets Subcommittee. After reviewing submissions in November 2006, further work on heritage assets was deferred to address higher priorities and await development of the Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities.
During development of IPSAS 31, Intangible Assets, the IPSASB noted arguments to the effect that entities may hold intangible heritage assets. IPSAS 31 includes wording similar to that in IPSAS 17, which allows, but does not require, an entity to recognize heritage assets that meet the definition of an intangible asset.
Issues the project will consider include (but are not limited to):
- Definitions of and different types of heritage assets.
- Recognition and measurement of heritage assets, including the cost of obtaining valuations of heritage collections, which has been raised as one reason not to recognize such assets.
- Whether heritage assets should be depreciated and/or impaired
- Disclosures on heritage assets, including whether additional disclosures should be provided and what form those disclosures should take.
The scope of this project is to provide more detailed requirements and guidance for the accounting and disclosure of heritage assets.