New Accounting Methods for Governments
T he International Federation of Accountants published a report on accrual accounting for governments. Occasional Paper no. 3, Perspectives on Accrual Accounting , contains essays by a number of contributors, including politicians, accountants, economists, academics and administrators, on the value of reforming accounting methods for governments and other public-sector entities.
China Will Work With IASC
T he Peoples Republic of China for the first time will participate in the meetings of the International Accounting Standards Committee. The IASC said representatives from China will be observersthey will have the full right to express their views during deliberations on developing international accounting standards, but they will not have a vote.
China recently organized the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants, which has instituted a nationwide licensing exam. It also is creating a new, independent Chinese Accounting Standards Committee. "There is an increased demand for sound financial reporting by Chinese companies," said Michael Sharpe, chairman of the IASC board.
Governments traditionally have used the cash basis of accounting in their financial reports. However, because governments around the world continue to be asked to do more with less, they are contracting out many of their traditional services. According to the report, this has put a demand on governments to use private-sector-type accounting methods such as accrual-based reporting that measure assets and liabilities.
The report examines the usefulness of accrual-based reporting and budgeting, how it could benefit users of government financial reports and the potential costs of its implementation.
IFAC public sector committee chairman Ian Ball said, "The report gives readers a range of perspectives on accrual accounting from a number of contributors who have experience in implementing this reform or who have observed its progress."
The report is available free of charge by contacting the IFAC
publications department at 212-302-5952.