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The future of public sector accounting in Canada

Be part of the decision, says Public Sector Accounting Board

Author: Canadian Accountant

TORONTO, May 8, 2019 – The Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) has issued its follow-up consultation paper on the Board's review of its international strategy.

Consultation Paper 2, Reviewing PSAB's Approach to International Public Sector Accounting Standards asks Canadians to consider four possible options that will shape the future of public sector accounting in Canada.

This paper is the last step in the Board's project to review its approach to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), to be in a position to make a decision in March 2020.

"There is and always will be a spotlight on public sector accounting," says Charles-Antoine St-Jean, Chair, PSAB. "It is imperative that transparent and accountable information is made available to the public, along with the critical need for quality financial information be used in decision making that can affect every Canadian."

As our world becomes more global and with more countries than ever changing their approach on international standards, PSAB decided it was time to review its approach to IPSAS. As part of this project PSAB conducted its own research on IPSAS and the International Public Sector Accounting Board, also learning about the experiences of other countries following IPSAS.

The Board identified four options for Canadians to consider:

    1. Keeping the status quo. This means PSAB will continue setting accounting standards for Canada's public sector using its own conceptual framework and principles.
    2. Adapting IPSAS principles to Canadian standards while maintaining PSAB's role as Canada's domestic public sector accounting standard setter.
    3. Endorsing IPSAS – except when a departure is needed. This would be similar to the Canadian Accounting Standards Board's endorsement process for IFRS® Standards.
    4. Adopt IPSAS wholly, without change.

The proposals in this paper have the potential to change how standards are developed, with the impact extending to all public sector organizations' accounting of their operations. This would change financial statements and – possibly – the results in those statements.

Read and comment on Consultation Paper 2, Reviewing PSAB's Approach to International Public Sector Accounting Standards  by September 30, 2019. PSAB will be holding multiple events and issuing supporting documentation to help Canadians provide their feedback.

– Canada Newswire (CNW) press release.

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