Eurostat report on the suitability of IPSAS for EU Member States

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07 Mar 2013

The European Commission has issued a report assessing the suitability of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for the Member States of the EU. The report concludes that, “even if IPSAS cannot easily be implemented in EU Member States as it stands currently, the IPSAS standards represent an indisputable reference for potential development of European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS), based on a strong EU governance system.”

The report used information from the feedback received on the public consultation on the suitability of  IPSAS for application in the EU. Overall, two conclusions were made: (1) it seemed that IPSAS cannot easily be implemented in EU Member States as it stands currently and (2) the IPSAS standards represent a suitable framework for the future development of EPSAS.

Additionally, the report describes steps that will need to be taken in the development of EPSAS, including the establishment of EU governance that will clarify the conceptual framework and aim for common EU public sector accounting.  The report also makes the following points about the relationship between ESPAS and other frameworks:

EPSAS would need to establish and maintain close links to the IPSAS Board in order to inform its agenda and decision-making and because EPSAS standards may need to differ in some cases from IPSAS standards. It would be important not to create unnecessary divergence between EPSAS and IPSAS, and between EPSAS and IFRS, given that government-controlled entities may already be required to report on an IFRS basis or according to national commercial accounting standards.

The development of EPSAS will be discussed further at a conference held on 29-30 May 2013 in Brussels.

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