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IFAC's International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board Issues New Disclosures on External Assistance

Jan 17, 2008 | New York | English

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), an independent standard-setting board within the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), has issued new requirements to help governments and other public sector entities consistently report on international aid, development grants and other forms of external assistance. The new disclosure requirements and recommendations are set out in the updated International Public Sector Accounting Standard, Financial Reporting under the Cash Basis of Accounting (Cash-Basis IPSAS).

Currently, there are a number of reporting practices between providers and recipients of external assistance that can be costly for recipients. The disclosures in the updated Cash-Basis IPSAS should reduce some of these multiple reporting practices, helping recipients to use resources more efficiently.

The disclosures represent one of a number of steps that the IPSASB has undertaken to enhance its Cash-Basis IPSAS. Recently, the IPSASB approved a project to consider how the standard could be improved based on the experiences of those using it. The project will review the implementation of the Cash-Basis IPSAS in various jurisdictions and assess whether any changes to the standard are needed. The project task force will be chaired by Ms. Erna Swart of South Africa, who became Deputy Chair of the IPSASB in January 2008.

"The introduction of requirements for external assistance disclosures represents the IPSASB's response not only to constituents who are recipients of external assistance, but also external assistance providers," states IPSASB Chair Mike Hathorn. "These disclosures, as well as broader initiatives undertaken by the IPSASB to improve the Cash-Basis IPSAS, will assist public sector entities in their efforts to strengthen their accountability."

The external assistance requirements are effective for reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2009.

The Cash-Basis IPSAS, together with other IPSASB standards and guidance, can be downloaded free-of-charge from the IFAC online bookstore:

IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 157 members and associates in 123 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry and commerce. In addition to setting international public sector financial reporting standards through the IPSASB, IFAC, through its independent standard-setting boards, sets ethics, auditing and assurance, and education standards. It also issues guidance to encourage high quality performance by professional accountants in business.