IPSASB Releases Initial Preface to Public Sector Conceptual Framework Project

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 Print Email

The Public Sector Conceptual Framework is a project by the International Federation of Accountants to create a conceptual framework applicable to the creation and presentation of general purpose financial reports common to public sector entities. The project is being conducted in association with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) which has released a draft of the preface to the Conceptual Framework.

The document is titled Preliminary Board View: Preface to the Conceptual Framework for General Purpose Financial Reporting by Public Sector Entities. It seeks to identify certain characteristics common to the public sector on which the standards set by the IPSASB are based, as well as highlight areas where financial reporting would commonly depart from private sector approaches.

The preface notes reference a number of characteristics common to public sector entities, including the importance of comparisons between actual and budgeted spending and revenues to analyze surpluses or deficits. As well as the need for public sector entities to be involved in regulatory activities, address market failures, and self-regulate.

An earlier version of the preface was issued in April 2011, and will not be made final until the release of the Conceptual Framework. The final copy is expected in 2014. The IPSASB is not calling for comment from constituents on the document, but expects that the characteristics in the paper will be important for future development of public sector accounting standards and recommended practices and guidelines. 

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