PSAB - Review of International Strategy [Completed]

Comment period ends on February 15, 2021

Effective date:

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.

Last updated:

November 2020


In developing its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) determined that the time was appropriate to review its current international strategy of influencing the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) and its IPSASs.

Over the 2017-2020 period, the Board intended to:

  1. conduct research on differences between its Canadian PSASs and the IPSASB’s IPSASs;
  2. learn about experiences of other jurisdictions that choose to follow IPSASs;
  3. publish a consultation paper to get the opinion of stakeholders; and
  4. develop options for the Board’s current international strategy.

Preliminarily, the Board had identified four options it could apply:

  1. continue to apply PSASs as enacted;
  2. develop future PSASs based on IPSASs;
  3. apply IPSASs by exception; or
  4. apply IPSASs as issued by the IPSASB.

Each business case was included in the Board’s formal consultations. Stakeholders were asked to provide their feedback on the strategies identified, and to comment on the benefits and costs incorporated in each business case.

The Board released two International Strategy consultation papers in May 2018 and May 2019. The stakeholder feedback from both consultation papers were considered in the finalization of PSAB’s International Strategy in May 2020.

In May 2020, the PSAB concluded that it should follow  “Option 2 – Adapt IPSAS principles when developing future standards,” as described in Consultation Paper 2. In September 2020, the PSAB released its Basis for Conclusion.

The Board is currently working on implementation activities associated with the International Strategy decision in order to meet the planned implementation date of April 1, 2021.


Other developments

November 2020

On November 10, 2020, the 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.

September 2020

On September 15, 2020, the 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.

April 2020

During April 2020, the PSAB staff updated the status of this project to advise that the PSAB is continuing to deliberate the feedback on its Consultation Papers.

May 2019

On May 8, 2019, the PSAB released its second International Strategy consultation paper. This paper summarizes feedback they heard on their first paper in 2018. The options are clarified to better support stakeholders’ feedback on the important question PSAB will be answering by March 2020 – what is the future of Canada’s public sector accounting international strategy? Comments are requested by September 30, 2019.

October 2018

In October 2018, the staff of the PSAB updated the work plan to indicate that the PSAB expects to issue a second Consultation Paper in Q2/2019 to seek further feedback

May 2018

On May 28, 2018, the PSAB issued a Consultation Paper that introduces the criteria PSAB will use to make a decision on its future international strategy and illustrates the application of the criteria through four possible options. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit their responses by September 28, 2018.

November 2017

In November 2017, the staff of the PSAB updated the work plan of the PSAB to indicate that the PSAB expects to issue a Task Force Consultation Paper in respect of this project for comment in Q2 2018.

On November 10, 2017, as part of its 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, the PSAB approved this new project which may significantly change the role the Board plays in setting public sector accounting standards in Canada.


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