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Public sector

Exposure Draft – Proposal to modify the Canadian Public Sector GAAP Hierarchy

Nov 10, 2020

On November 10, 2020, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) released an exposure draft proposing amendments to PS 1150, "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles", to clarify the GAAP hierarchy on matters not covered by primary sources of GAAP or for assistance in applying primary source of GAAP. Comments are requested by February 15, 2021.

PSAB expects to issue final amendments to Section PS 1150 in the first quarter of 2021. The amendments will be effective for years beginning on or after April 1, 2021.

Review the press release and exposure draft on the PSAB's website.

New chair appointed to Canada’s Public Sector Accounting Board

Nov 06, 2020

On November 6, 2020, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) announced that former assistant auditor general Clyde MacLellan takes helm of the Public Sector Accounting Board, effective November 1, 2020 for a five-year term.

The Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC) unanimously approved his appointment at its October 2020 meeting, concluding an ongoing search that commenced this past summer.

MacLellan was serving as interim chair since July and assumed the role permanently as of November 1, 2020. He replaces former chair Charles-Antoine St-Jean, FCPA, FCA, who was appointed President and CEO of CPA Canada.

His initial term will be five years and five months ending March 31, 2026, with an option to renew at both parties’ discretion for three years.

Review the press release on the PSAB's website.

IPSASB issues exposure draft to clarify guidance on borrowing costs

Oct 21, 2020

On October 21, 2020, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) released for comment Exposure Draft (ED) 74, IPSAS 5, "Borrowing Costs – Non-Authoritative Guidance". The ED proposes the addition of non-authoritative guidance to IPSAS 5. Comments are requested by March 1, 2021.

The proposed non-authoritative guidance would add implementation guidance and illustrative examples to IPSAS 5. The new material proposed in ED 74 would clarify how the existing principles for when borrowing costs can be capitalized should be applied in various regularly encountered public sector contexts. No amendments are proposed to the authoritative material in IPSAS 5.

Review the press release and exposure draft on the IPSASB's website.

Basis for Conclusions – PSAB International Strategy

Sep 15, 2020

On September 15, 2020, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) released the Basis for Conclusion, which sets out how PSAB reached its decision to pursue "Option 2: Adapt IPSAS principles when developing future standards" as its future International Strategy.

Review the Basis for Conclusion on the PSAB's website.

Updated IPSAS-IFRS alignment dashboard

Aug 28, 2020

In August 2020, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), which develops the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for financial reporting by governments and other public sector entities, released an updated IPSAS-IFRS alignment dashboard showing how far individual IPSAS are aligned with corresponding IFRS Standards.

Review the updated alignment dashboard prepared for the September 2020 IPSASB meeting on the IPSASB's website.

Deloitte offers a summary of the provisions of all IPSAS in our IPSAS in your pocket publication.

Exposure Draft – Financial Instruments – Narrow scope amendments

Jul 30, 2020

On July 30, 2020, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) issued two Exposure Drafts on the presentation of derivatives and recognizing exchange gains and losses.

Exposure Draft –  Financial Instruments – Presentation Narrow Scope Amendments

PSAB proposes specific amendments to clarify the presentation of derivatives. The proposal would amend Section PS 1201, Financial Statement Presentation. Comments are requested by October 28, 2020.

Exposure Draft – Financial Instruments – Foreign Exchange Narrow Scope Amendments

PSAB proposes specific amendments to allow all public sector entities to recognize exchange gains and losses directly in the statement of operations. Comments are requested by October 28, 2020.

The proposal would amend the following sections: 

  • Section PS 1201, Financial Statement Presentation
  • Section PS 2601, Foreign Currency Translation
  • Section PS 3450, Financial Instruments


Notice of Intent – Extension of PSAB’s 2017–2021 Strategic Plan

Jul 30, 2020

On July 30, 2020, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) extended the end date of its current 2017–2021 Strategic Plan by one year to March 2022.

This will provide the Board with more time to review and assess the impacts of COVID-19 on its strategic direction. Comments on this extension can be submitted by September 30, 2020.

Review the press release on the PSAB's website.

Update – Revamping PSAB’s employment benefits project

Jul 30, 2020

On July 30, 2020, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) released an article that includes the details on the new project plan and what’s next for stakeholders.

PSAB approved a revised Employment Benefits project plan at the June 26, 2020 meeting.

Under the revised approach, the new employment benefits standard will become available through multiple releases.

Release 1 will provide base accounting guidance, with later releases building on those principles to further address current and emerging issues.

PSAB staff are already preparing the Release 1 exposure draft, which will focus on deferral provisions and discount rate guidance. This exposure draft will use principles from International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) 39, Employment Benefits, as a starting point. PSAB can modify IPSAS 39 principles to better fit the Canadian environment and provide customized guidance where needed. The adoption date of Release 1 of the standard will be determined by the Board at the time that Release 1 of the standard is approved.

Later releases will focus on providing further guidance on the topic of Non-traditional pension plans and other issues.

Review the press release on the PSAB's website.

COVID-19 accounting tool for governments

Jul 22, 2020

The International Fed­er­a­tion of Ac­coun­tants (IFAC), the Zurich Uni­ver­sity of Applied Science (ZHAW), and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) have published a tool for gov­ern­ments and other in­ter­ested stake­hold­ers to apply best practices in public sector accounting when analyzing COVID-19-re­lated in­ter­ven­tion programs.

The COVID-19 pandemic led gov­ern­ments to deploy sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­ven­tions to support in­di­vid­u­als, busi­nesses, the monetary system, and specific sectors, including health­care. In view of the un­prece­dented scale of these in­ter­ven­tions there is an urgent need to un­der­stand their full current and ongoing impacts on public finances as high-qual­ity financial in­for­ma­tion enhances gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion-mak­ing and supports better outcomes for citizens over the medium and longer-term.

The new COVID-19 In­ter­ven­tion As­sess­ment Tool includes:

  • A step-by-step process and as­sess­ment tool to help assess, evaluate and inform various types of gov­ern­ment in­ter­ven­tions related to the pandemic; and
  • An overview of the way it can support the pathway to accrual International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for gov­ern­ments.

For more in­for­ma­tion refer to the IPSASB website.

IPSASB proposes to delay effective dates

Jul 15, 2020

On July 15, 2020, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) published Exposure Draft 73, 'Covid-19: Deferral of Effective Dates', which proposes to delay the effective dates of recently published standards and amendments by one year to January 1, 2023. The ED is a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and intended to provide stakeholders with additional implementation time.

The standards and amend­ments affected include: 

  • IPSAS 41, Financial In­stru­ments;
  • IPSAS 42, Social Benefits;
  • Long-term Interests in As­so­ci­ates and Joint Ventures (Amend­ments to IPSAS 36) andPre­pay­ment Features with Negative Com­pen­sa­tion (Amend­ments to IPSAS 41);
  • Col­lec­tive and In­di­vid­ual Services(Amend­ments to IPSAS 19); and
  • Im­prove­ment to IPSAS, 2019.

The Exposure Draft can be accessed on the IPSASB website. Comments are requested by August 15, 2020.

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