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Andreas Bergmann, Chair IPSASB - IFAC Sovereign Debt Seminar Presentation
From cash to accrual accountingand budgeting in government -why when and how?Prof. Dr. Andreas BergmannChair IPSAS BoardThe Sovereign Debt Crisis, a Matterof Urgency – from Lessons toReformVienna Austria19 March 2012 Page 1
Transparency and AccountabilityGovernment accounting and budgeting is relevant • Just a few headlines – Greece: “Strong evidence for manipulation of the deficit and debt data presented” – Germany: “55 billion accounting mistake reduces debt levels” – UK: “Banks not consolidated due to temporary control” – Almost everywhere: “Pension Liabilities not included …” • Who’s next to follow? • But it is clear: Uncertainty damages the economic development Page 2
Transparency and AccountabilityAccrual accounting is generally accepted • After 20+ years of reform – About 50 countries are on accrual accounting, thereof about 40 on IPSAS basis – In some additional countries sub-national levels are on accrual accounting even if national level is still on cash – None of the reforms have been reverted – Accrual accounting provides cash information (in the cash flow statement) – Broad consensus: Accrual accounting enhances transparency and improves decision making – especially in respect of investments (e.g. infrastructure) and liabilities (e.g. the non-government-bond types) Page 3
Transparency and AccountabilityAccrual budgeting has gained little ground • After 20+ years of reform – Only 4 countries are on full accrual budgeting (AUS, NZ, UK, CH), a few more one a mixed form (namely Scandinavia, North America) – Consensus amongst the users: An integrated system has advantages, but cash appropriations are a generally accepted feature – also in many accrual budgeting system – But a majority goes with cash budgeting, even when using accrual accounting (“French model”) • IPSAS: Reconciliation required – either at budget stage or at reporting stage Page 4
Transparency and AccountabilityNeed for an integrated system Governmental Budgeting Accounting Audit Financial Statistics Page 5
Transparency and AccountabilityWhy, when and how • Why? Improve accountability and decision making • When? Now – why wait … • How? As part of an integrated reform – see Spain and Austria! Page 6