New IPSASB Q&A to drive sustainablity in reporting on public finances

Jun 23, 2020

There is an urgent need for financial reporting and information that provides a clear, forward-looking, long-term view of organisations' finances and sustainability - particularly those of governments and other public sector entities. The combined forces of the existential threat presented by climate change and the economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic means that this need is more urgent than ever. 

As principles-based standards, governments and public sector entities can apply existing IPSAS literature to report on sustainability issues, including climate change risks, and to communicate progress towards achieving goals such as the SDGs. 

To help stakeholders understand how to apply the Board’s current guidance to provide clear, comparable, and relevant information on climate change, the IPSASB Staff have published a Questions & Answers (Q&A) document highlighting the relevant standards and guidance for the public sector. The Staff Q&A addresses key questions such as: 

  • Is there any existing IPSASB literature relevant to consider for climate change reporting?
  • When governments or public sector entities have strategies and programs in place to manage climate change risks, how should these be treated?
  • When governments or public sector entities adopt the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), what IPSAS financial reporting guidance should be considered? 

The Staff Q&A on Climate Change is intended to help drive transparency and sustainability in reporting on public finances. Further guidance on the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of natural resources is also being considered by the IPSASB as part of its project on Natural Resources. 

About the IPSASB 
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) works to strengthen public financial management globally through developing and maintaining accrual-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards® (IPSAS®) and other high-quality financial reporting guidance for use by governments and other public sector entities.

It also raises awareness of IPSAS and the benefits of accrual adoption. The Board receives support from the Asian Development Bank, the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, the New Zealand External Reporting Board, and the governments of Canada and New Zealand. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IPSASB are facilitated by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). For copyright, trademark, and permissions information, please go to permissions or contact permissions@ifac.org

About the Public Interest Committee
The governance and standard-setting activities of the IPSASB are overseen by the Public Interest Committee (PIC), to ensure that they follow due process and reflect the public interest. The PIC is comprised of individuals with expertise in public sector or financial reporting, and professional engagement in organizations that have an interest in promoting high-quality and internationally comparable financial information.