Skip to main content

The IPSASB Issues Guidance on Public Sector Specific Financial Instruments

Dec 10, 2020 | English

The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has issued Non-Authoritative Amendments to IPSAS 41, Financial Instruments, to clarify the requirements for classifying, recognizing, and measuring a range of important public sector specific financial instruments.

This non-authoritative guidance is the final output from the IPSASB’s Public Sector Specific Financial Instruments (PSSFI) project and applies to four monetary items unique to the public sector: monetary gold, currency in circulation, International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota subscriptions, and Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

The guidance underlines that public sector items that meet the definition of a financial asset or financial liability should be accounted for by applying existing IPSAS principles. It also clarifies the principles themselves to help improve financial information provided on public sector specific financial instruments.

“The publication of additional non-authoritative guidance in IPSAS 41, Financial Instruments, will enable preparers and users of public sector financial statements to obtain more relevant and comparable information that faithfully represents their public sector specific financial instruments,” said Ian Carruthers, IPSASB Chair. “Now more than ever, high quality financial information will help enhance government decision making as entities consider the use and issuance of these monetary items to address challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”

A Staff Q&A document will be released after this pronouncement to provide additional background information.

About the IPSASB
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) works to strengthen public financial management globally through developing and maintaining accrual-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards® (IPSAS®) and other high-quality financial reporting guidance for use by governments and other public sector entities. It also raises awareness of IPSAS and the benefits of accrual adoption. The Board receives support from the Asian Development Bank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the New Zealand External Reporting Board, and the governments of Canada and New Zealand. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IPSASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact

About the Public Interest Committee
The governance and standard-setting activities of the IPSASB are overseen by the Public Interest Committee (PIC), to ensure that they follow due process and reflect the public interest. The PIC is comprised of individuals with expertise in public sector or financial reporting, and professional engagement in organizations that have an interest in promoting high-quality and internationally comparable financial information.