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FEE calls for IPSAS implementation

The Federation of European Accountants (FEE) has asked EU member states to consider implementing the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) as a way of improving transparency, accountability and the levels of foreign investment.

Additionally, the FEE urged towards the implementation of accrual based accounting in the public sector, saying this was one of the key methods of achieving greater transparency and accountability.

Although the FEE acknowledged IPSAS are not complete in terms of coverage, need to be updated in line with IFRS developments and lack public oversight, the FEE said these issues could be overcome.

For this, the FEE pointed to the work of the IPSAS board (IPSASB), noting it is working on extending coverage, updating existing IPSAS and has set up a governance oversight board.

This is in contrast to current EU moves to create a European Public Sector Accounting Standard (EPSAS), which the FEE said could leave Europe isolated from an international investment point of view, and would lead to a duplication of work for companies operating in the EU and internationally.

However, the federation said it was "aware that political compromises may have to be made to encourage some member states to move towards accrual accounting," but added if this was the cases, EPSAS should be developed as close as possible to IPSAS.

Because of this, the FEE said it would support the development of EPSAS on the condition its governance and standard setting process was independent, transparent and include broad stakeholder participation, as well as public consultations.

Related links
The Federation of European Accountants
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board

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