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Recommendations made on Convergence Activities for Public Sector Financial Reporting Standards

As part of its program to support convergence of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) and statistical bases of financial reporting where appropriate, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has released a research report that identifies differences in the requirements of IPSASs and statistical reporting models. The report also makes recommendations for standard-setting bodies and other key organizations.

The report, International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) and Statistical Bases of Financial Reporting: An Analysis of Differences and Recommendations for Convergence, aims to reduce confusion for users of public sector financial reporting caused by the differences between accounting and statistical models of financial reporting. It was developed by members of the Working Group 1 of the international Task Force on Harmonization of Public Sector Accounting (TFHPSA), whose purpose is to examine ways to minimize unnecessary differences between accounting and statistical models of financial reporting and to make recommendations to the IPSASB, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and various other groups.

Progressing public sector specific issues and convergence with standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), as well as convergence with statistical models of financial reporting, represents a major work area of the IPSASB.

“This report makes a significant contribution to the literature on differences between accounting and statistical models of financial reporting and provides useful input to the long-term convergence programs and opportunities for a number of bodies, including the IPSASB, the IMF and the groups concerned with the update of the 1993 System of National Accounts including Eurostat,” states Philippe AdhĂ©mar, IPSASB Chair and a member of the TFHPSA.

The report includes a matrix that identifies and explains key differences between accounting and statistical models of financial reporting as of June 30, 2004, and recommends a process of convergence to reduce those differences. However, readers should be clear that the views expressed in this research report are not necessarily the views of the IPSASB.

The report may be downloaded from the IFAC website by going to www.ifac.org.

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