'Accounting standards support the generation of consistent quality management information for controlling and reporting on the use of current resources as well as informing future planning decisions' said Chris Ridley, member of ACCA’s (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Public Sector Global Forum at the sixth Astana Economic Forum in Kazakhstan recently.
At the event, Mr Ridley spoke in detail about the impact of implementing International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs), the advantages of accruals over cash accounting and of how assurance is important for public sector financial management.
As a member of ACCA’s Public Sector Global Forum, he also showed his support of the work undertaken by the global body for professional accountants during ‘The role of accounting and audit in a provision of sustainable development of state’s financial system in risky conditions’ the panel session, which was moderated by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Finance, Mr Bolat Zhamishev.
Mr Ridley added: 'The UK government controls public sector spending through use of resource and capital in Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL) and Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) together with a further limit on cash, which shows that although there are advantages to accrual accounting, cash still has to be managed by departments. An added advantage was the availability in the UK of a consolidated set of financial statements for the public sector, known as the Whole of Government Accounts. A National Audit Office review of the Annual Accounts, building on the work of internal audit within individual organisations, gives assurance of the accounting methods used.
'ACCA supports the view that the long-term financial sustainability of public finances, based on the right long-term growth model, will play a critical role in supporting economic recovery and preventing future crises. This improved economic governance goal should therefore be tackled more effectively.
'A concrete way of achieving this could be to comply with international accounting standards, such as IPSASs, and which would complement current national accounts in setting out their economic and fiscal positions based on statistical measures and forecasts.'
The Astana Economic Forum (AEF) is the largest event of its kind in Asia. More than 12,000 participants from 132 countries attended the forum. Among the delegates to the forum and the conference were 35 current and former ministers, 10 Nobel Laureates and more than 40 heads of international organisations, corporations and businesses.
- For more information about ACCA’s Global Forum for the Public Sector, please see the 'Related Links' section, left of this article.