The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) released the first four chapters of its conceptual framework for public-sector general-purpose financial reporting. The chapters describe the objective of financial reporting by public-sector entities as providing information to users for accountability and decision-making purposes.
The partial release identifies service recipients and resource providers as the primary users of general-purpose financial reports (GPFRs) of public-sector entities.
The remainder of the framework will be released upon completion.
The chapters identify the qualitative characteristics of information included in GPFRs, and the constraints on that information. The characteristics are:
- Faithful representation.
Materiality, cost/benefit, and balance between the qualitative characteristics are identified as constraints.
In addition, the chapters identify key characteristics of a public-sector reporting entity, as well as the role of the conceptual framework in the development of International Public Sector Accounting Standards and Recommended Practice Guidelines.
Additional chapters under development will address the definition, recognition, and measurement of the elements of financial statements, and presentation in GPFRs.
The IPSASB develops standards, guidance, and resources for use by public-sector entities around the world.
—Ken Tysiac (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a JofA senior editor.