Public Sector Conceptual Framework

Project Status

Final Chapters of Phase 1 published on January 11, 2013:

Chapter 1:    Role and Authority of the Conceptual Framework

Chapter 2:    Objectives and Users of General Purpose Financial Reporting

Chapter 3:    Qualitative Characteristics 

Chapter 4:    Reporting Entity 

Exposure Draft 1 - Phase 1 Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities: Role, Authority and Scope; Objectives and Users; Qualitative Characteristics; and Reporting Entity (CF–ED1) published with a comment date of June 15, 2011.

Exposure Draft 2 - Elements and Recognition in Financial Statements (CF–ED2)

Exposure Draft 3 - Measurement of Assets and Liabilities in Financial Statements (CF–ED3)

Consultation Paper - Phase 4 Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities: Presentation in General Purpose Financial Reports (CF–CP4) published with a comment date of May 31, 2012. These Consultation Papers were accompanied by At a Glance summaries.

Exposure Draft  - Key Characteristics of the Public sector with  Potential Implications for Financial Reporting published with a comment date of August 31, 2011.


The objective of the project is to develop a Public Sector Conceptual Framework which is applicable to the preparation and presentation of general purpose financial reports of public sector entities. General purpose financial reports include, but are not necessarily limited to, financial statements and notes thereto.


The Public Sector Conceptual Framework will be developed primarily for all public sector entities other than Government Business Enterprises (GBEs).

GBEs are required to apply International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) which are issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).


John Stanford

The IPSASB is leading a collaborative project, with participation from a group of national standards setters and other organizations (NSS) which develop authoritative requirements for financial reporting in the public sector.


Currently the concepts related to public sector financial statements are embedded in the existing IPSASs.

Many of the IPSASs currently on issue are based on International Accounting Standards (IASs/IFRSs) to the extent that the requirements of the IASs/IFRSs are relevant to the public sector. Therefore, the current IPSASs draw on concepts and definitions in the IASB Framework with modifications where necessary to address public sector circumstances.

The IASB is currently updating its Framework in a joint project with the Financial Accounting Standards Board of the USA. The IPSASB is monitoring progress on that project and lead authors of IPSASB project components liaise with their IASB/FASB counterparts.


The Framework will deal with financial reporting under the accrual basis and encompass such matters as:

  • Objectives of financial reporting;
  • Scope of financial reporting;
  • Qualitative characteristics of financial information;
  • Characteristics of the reporting entity;
  • Definition and recognition of the elements of financial statements;
  • Measurement; and
  • Presentation and disclosure.

The project will also consider the need for a framework for financial reporting under the cash basis of accounting, and implications of matters dealt with in the accrual framework for the cash basis.

Task Force progress / Board discussions to date

Board discussions to date.


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