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IPSASB Publishes Exposure Drafts 48-52 on Accounting for Interests in Other Entities

Oct 21, 2013 | New York, New York | English

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has published the following five exposure drafts (EDs):

These five EDs will replace current requirements in three International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs):

  • IPSAS 6, Consolidated and Separate Financial Statements;
  • IPSAS 7, Investments in Associates; and,
  • IPSAS 8, Interests in Joint Ventures

A key part of the IPSASB’s strategy is to converge IPSASs, to the extent appropriate, with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB). The IPSASB developed these EDs in light of the relevant IFRSs, while also considering public sector-specific differences and, as a result, these five EDs propose some important changes to make the standards appropriate for application in the public sector.

“These five EDs present proposals on how public sector entities, including governments, should account for their interests in other entities,” said IPSASB Chair Andreas Bergmann. “Comprehensive and transparent reporting of interests in other entities is essential given the wide range of government interventions in the economy and the scale of those interventions.”

The following highlights particular aspects of each ED:

ED 48, Separate Financial Statements

The requirements for separate financial statements in ED 48 are very similar to the current requirements for separate financial statements in IPSAS 6.

ED 49, Consolidated Financial Statements

ED 49 will supersede the requirements in IPSAS 6 regarding consolidated financial statements. ED 49 still requires that control be assessed having regard to benefits and power, but it proposes a new definition of control and considerably more guidance on assessing control. The definition of control focuses on an entity’s ability to influence the nature and amount of benefits through its power over another entity. This new definition of control may introduce additional requirements that could impact previous assessments of control.

ED 49 introduces the concept of investment entities. Generally an investment entity measures its investments in controlled entities at fair value through surplus or deficit. An entity that controls an investment entity retains this method of accounting for an investment entity’s investments in its consolidated financial statements.

In contrast with IPSAS 6, ED 49 no longer permits an exemption from consolidation for temporarily controlled entities. Consistent with its goal of minimizing differences between IPSASs and statistical reporting guidance, the IPSASB has aligned the principles in ED 49 with the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2013 (GFSM 2013) where feasible.

ED 50, Investments in Associates and Joint Ventures

ED 50 explains the application of the equity method of accounting, which is to be used in accounting for investments in associates and joint ventures. The proposals are very similar to the current guidance in IPSAS 7; the key difference is that the ED encompasses joint ventures. ED 50 and ED 51 propose that investments in joint ventures be accounted for using the equity method of accounting.

In contrast with IPSAS 7, ED 50 does not permit a different accounting treatment for temporary investments. 

ED 51, Joint Arrangements

ED 51 contains proposals for classifying and accounting for different types of joint arrangements. It proposes that joint arrangements be classified as either joint operations or joint ventures. In a joint operation, the parties to the arrangement have rights to the assets and obligations for the liabilities relating to the arrangement. In a joint venture, the parties to the arrangement have rights to the net assets of the arrangement. This proposed classification differs from IPSAS 8, which referred to three types of arrangements (jointly controlled entities, jointly controlled operations, and jointly controlled assets).

ED 51 proposes that an entity account for its interest in a joint operation by recognizing its share of the assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses of the joint arrangement and that joint ventures be accounted for in consolidated financial statements using the equity method. Previously, IPSAS 8 permitted jointly controlled entities to be accounted for using either the equity method or proportionate consolidation.

ED 52, Disclosure of Interests in Other Entities

ED 52 brings together the disclosures that were previously included in IPSASs 6–8 and introduces certain new disclosure requirements, including those related to structured entities that are not consolidated.

How to Comment
To access the EDs and the At-a-Glance document, which provides a summary of the EDs, or to submit a comment, please visit the IPSASB website at Comments on the EDs are requested by February 28, 2014. The IPSASB encourages IFAC members, associates, and regional accountancy bodies to promote the availability of these EDs to their members and employees.

About the IPSASB
The IPSASB develops accounting standards and guidance for use by public sector entities. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IPSASB are facilitated by IFAC. The IPSASB receives support (both direct financial and in-kind) from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the South African Accounting Standards Board, and the governments of Canada, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

About IFAC
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. It is comprised of 173 members and associates in 129 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.