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IFAC Explores Budget Reporting for Governments and Need for International Public Sector Standards

A new Research Report commissioned by the International Federation of Accountants' (IFAC's) Public Sector Committee (PSC) considers best practices in budget formulation and reporting under differing budget models and government administrative arrangements, and examines whether the development of an International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) on budget reporting falls within the PSC's mandate.

The Research Report, entitled “Budget Reporting,” was prepared by Dr. Jesse Hughes, professor emeritus of accounting at the College of Business and Public Administration, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, USA, with input from the PSC's Budget Reporting Steering Committee. (The Report represents the views of the author. At the present time it does not reflect the views of the PSC, nor necessarily those of all Steering Committee members.)

Philippe Adhémar, Chair of the Public Sector Committee, commented, “In many respects, and for many external users, the budget documents are the most important financial statements issued by governments. The budget also serves as a key tool for financial management and control, and is the central component of the process that provides for government and parliamentary or similar oversight of the financial dimensions of operations.”

Mr. Adhémar went on to point out that the IPSASs currently on issue do not require the presentation of budget/forecast information at the time it is approved by the legislature or other authority, nor do they require the historical general purpose financial statements to report period results against the budget for that period.

The PSC will consider the report's findings at its July 2004 meeting. “The report provides valuable input to the PSC's consideration of how to progress this critical issue and identifies key factors that will need to be addressed in any further project development. The PSC commends Dr. Hughes for his work and thanks the steering committee for its input into this project,” Mr. Adhémar remarked.

Copies of this Research Report may be downloaded free of charge from the IFAC website at http://www.ifac.org. Actions taken by the PSC on this matter will be reported on the PSC homepage of the IFAC website, www.ifac.org/psc.

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