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Across the world countries are in different stages of IPSAS adoption, the level of success has varied typically measured by the outcomes of the external audit process.

Challenges to adoption

Some of the current challenges pertaining to IPSAS adoption are broader change management and programme management issues; others are more basic, such as poor IT infrastructure, bad record keeping, and paucity of core accounting information under previous financial reporting practices.

Key to successful adoption

Countries adopting and implementing IPSAS need to have a clear strategy, with realistic timescales, milestones and resources. 

Role of professional accountancy

Professional accountancy organisations should consider what role they can play in increasing awareness of the need for transparent financial reports in the public sector, including – but going beyond – providing training on accounting standards. 

About Jamie Lyon, lead ACCA author