Cagliari: Seminar 5

Seminar 5: Wednesday, June 11, 2008
International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)

Issues to Address:

  • ** What is International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)? Who participates in setting IPSAS? How?
  • *** What is so appealing about business accounting that it has become the basis for International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)?
  • *** What public-sector uniqueness, transactions and activities have IPSAS not taken into account to date? What is the IPSAS Board working on currently?
  • ** How are IPSAS adopted and enforced? Why are some countries be permitted to (continue to) use the cash basis, instead of the accrual basis?
  • * In addition to IPSAS, what international standards and codes have been proposed to improve government fiscal accountability and transparency?

Professor Chan’s lecture based on:

  1. * “Global Government Accounting Principles,” in Public Management, Accounting Standards and Evaluation Models, ed. by P. Einhorn and D. Braunig (Baden-Baden, Germany: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2001), pp. 152-163. [Chan2001GlobalGAP.pdf]
  2. *** “International Public Sector Accounting Standards,” Encyclopedia for Public Administration and Public Policy (Dekker, 2005). [Chan2005IPSAS.pdf]
  3. ** “Une revolution mondiale dans la comptabilite public? Une analyse des IPSAS [International Public Sector Accounting Standards] et quelques recommendations,” [“A Global Revolution in Government Accounting? An Analysis of IPSAS and Recommendations”] Revue francaise de comptabilite [French Journal of Accounting] (January 2004), pp. 27-31. [Chan2004FrGAWorldRevENG.pdf] – English version
  4. * “IPSAS and Government Accounting Reform in Developing Countries,” in Accounting Reform in the Public Sector: Mimicry, Fad or Necessity, edited by Evelyne Lande and Jean-Claude Scheid (France: Expert Comptable Media, 2006), pp. 31-42. [Chan2006IPSAS&GAFDC.pdf]

Discussion Questions:

  • See “Issues …” above, and
  • What are the similarities and differences between IPSAS and Italian government accounting standards?
  • Would/should Italy adopt IPSAS? (This question will be the subject of a debate contest after the seminar series is concluded.)

Recommended Internet Exercises:

  • Surf the website of the IPSAS Board for an update of its activities and issuances.
  • Surf the websites of:
    • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concerning requirements for
      • Government Finance Statistics (GFS)
      • Fiscal Transparency
  • The World Bank concerning accounting, financial reporting and auditing requirements for recipients of aid (both grants and loans).
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) concerning recommendations for budget transparency

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