Need for Harmonized Accrual based public sector accounting standards

Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna met with Ian Carruthers, Policy and Technical Director for the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and member on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), and Noel Camilleri (Accountant General) to discuss the transition of government public sector accounting to accrual reporting.

The meeting was held at the Ministry for Finance on 24th October 2013, during which the Minister was presented with a report outlining the requirements for such a transition.

The report was prepared following an IPSAS workshop held on 23rd-24th April, which was also addressed by the Minister for Finance. CIPFA subsequently worked with the Treasury Department, the Policy and Management Directorate within MFIN and other stakeholders with a view to providing a gap analysis report for the transition to accrual reporting, based on the application of IPSAS.

The report presented to the Minister is intended to complete the scoping phase of the project and provides a solid basis for planning the adoption and implementation of IPSAS across government departments.




Within the European context, in March 2013, the European Commission published a report to the Council and European Parliament entitled ‘Towards Implementing Harmonised Public Sector Accounting Standards in Member States: The suitability of IPSAS for member States’.

The main conclusions were that there is a need for harmonized accrual based public sector accounting standards and although IPSAS cannot be implemented in EU member states in their current status, they represent an undisputable reference framework for potential EU harmonized accrual based public sector accounting standards (EPSAS).

The Finance Minister expressed himself in favour of working towards using IPSAS as a proxy for future EPSAS requirements, recognising this as a long-term corporate project that will impact people, processes and government systems while also strengthening Malta’s public sector accounting processes.




– Saturday, 25th October, 2013


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