Certificate in International Public Sector Accounting Standards (Cert IPSAS)

The syllabus contains the following topics.


An overview of the work of the Board (IPSASB), including its organisation, the characteristics of public sector entities, the relationship between IPSAS® and the corresponding International Accounting Standards (IAS) / International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the purpose of financial statements and any ongoing projects.

Financial statement presentation and accounting policy

Develops an overview of:

  • financial statements (IPSAS® 1)
  • cash flow statements (IPSAS® 2)
  • accounting policies, changes in accounting estimates, and errors (IPSAS® 3).

Financial performance

Provides an understanding of:

  • non-exchange revenue (IPSAS® 23)
  • exchange revenue (IPSAS® 9)
  • construction contracts (IPSAS® 11).

Accounting for assets and liabilities

Delivers teaching around a wide range of topics including:

  • borrowing costs (IPSAS® 5) 
  • inventories (IPSAS® 12) 
  • leases (IPSAS® 13, 43) 
  • events after the reporting date (IPSAS® 14) 
  • investment property (IPSAS® 16) 
  • property plant and equipment (IPSAS® 17) 
  • provisions, contingent liabilities and contingent assets (IPSAS® 19) 
  • impairment of non-cash generating assets (IPSAS® 21) 
  • impairment of cash generating assets (IPSAS® 26) 
  • agriculture (IPSAS® 27) 
  • intangible assets (IPSAS® 31) 
  • employee benefits (IPSAS® 39) 
  • social benefits (IPSAS® 42) 
  • non-current assets held for sale and discontinued operations (IPSAS® 44).

Accounting for financial instruments

Provides teaching on:

  • financial instruments: presentation (IPSAS® 28)
  • financial instruments (IPSAS® 41)
  • financial instruments: disclosures (IPSAS® 30).


Delivers training around all standards dealing directly with consolidation:

  • consolidated and separate financial statements (IPSAS® 34, 35)
  • investments in associates and joint ventures (IPSAS® 36)
  • joint arrangements (IPSAS 37)
  • disclosure of interests in other entities (IPSAS 38)
  • public sector combinations (IPSAS 40)

The training also covers some additional topics that may impact on consolidated accounts:

  • translation of financial statements of foreign operations (IPSAS® 4)
  • financial reporting in hyperinflationary economies (IPSAS® 10)

Disclosure and presentation of financial information

Discusses the IPSASs that relate to disclosure and presentation of financial information as well as concession arrangements for the grantor:

  • presentation of budget information in financial statements (IPSAS® 24)
  • segment reporting (IPSAS® 18)
  • related party disclosures (IPSAS® 20)
  • disclosure of financial information about the general government sector (IPSAS® 22)
  • service concession arrangements: grantor (IPSAS® 32).

Cash basis IPSAS®

Teaches learners about Part 1 of the cash basis IPSAS®, covering required information in:

  • the statement of cash receipts and payments
  • disclosures
  • consolidation under the cash basis
  • presentation of budget information in the financial statements

It also covers the additional (non-mandatory) disclosures encouraged in Part 2 of the cash basis IPSAS®.

First-time adoption of accrual-based IPSAS®

Delivers training cover the following areas:

  • migrating from cash to accrual basis
  • first time adoption of IPSAS® (IPSAS® 33)
  • change management and the adoption of IPSAS®.

Forthcoming proposals for change

Teaches learners about public sector financial crisis and IPSAS®, IPSASB’s strategic direction and forthcoming proposals from the IPSASB.