New IFAC Digital Platform Assists Public Sector Transition from Cash to Accrual Accounting: Pathways to Accrual

New IFAC Digital Platform Assists Public Sector Transition from Cash to Accrual Accounting: Pathways to Accrual

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Pathways to Accrual provides resources to implement the whole system approach to quality Public Financial Management (PFM) necessary to transition from cash to accrual with maximum benefit

(New York, New York, February 28, 2022)

To contribute to and promote the development, adoption, and implementation of high-quality international standards, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) launched a new digital platform, Pathways to Accrual, providing a central access point to resources helpful for governments and other public sector entities planning and undertaking a transition from cash to accrual accounting including adopting and implementing International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).  

Pathways to Accrual builds upon the work of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB)’s Study 14, Transition to the Accrual Basis of Accounting: Guidance for Governments and Government Entities with updated content and a modernized presentation with easier navigation 

To equip public sector entities with tools for a carefully considered and smooth transition, Pathways to Accrual: 

  • Outlines the benefits and implications of adopting and implementing accrual accounting including IPSAS; 
  • Lays out the fundamentals to quality public financial management (PFM), essential for effective and efficient delivery of public services, transparent public finances, and trust between government and citizens; 
  • Explores multiple transition pathways for incremental implementation of accrual; 
  • Identifies the main tasks associated with recognition of assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses, including issues and challenges associated with the identification of, as well as measurement of, those elements in financial statements; 
  • Gives practical suggestions, guidance, and case studies based on the experience of other entities and jurisdictions; and 
  • Provides links to other useful guidance and resources to help entities make the best decisions for their unique circumstances. 

The platform was developed by IFAC with content provided by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and feedback from the International Public Sector Standards Board (IPSASB) and international community stakeholders. 

„The benefits are clear: accrual accounting improves transparency, decision-making, and accountability in the public sector, but the path forward is less apparent,“ said IFAC CEO Kevin Dancey. „Pathways to Accrual will help accountants and public sector entities seize the opportunity of transitioning to accrual accounting by equipping them with the tools necessary to forge their own unique paths towards sound public financial management.“ 

“There is significant accrual adoption and implementation activity underway across all regions of the world,” said Ian Carruthers, International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) Chair. “By 2025, 50% of the jurisdictions in the 2021 International Public Sector Accountability Index are forecast to report on accrual basis, and Pathways to Accrual will be instrumental in supporting both these transitions and the many others planned for subsequent years.”  

Explore the platform: 

About IFAC  

IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 180 members and associates in 135 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce. 

Jennifer DiClerico
Head of Communications

Prepared by IFAC’s Communications Department. Contact for further information.
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