PSAB 2016-2017 Annual Report

Message from the Chair

Rod Monette

Reflection is a common practice at the end of a year. But for me, I’ve reflected on more than just the past year of late as this is my last annual report message as the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) Chair.

I started with PSAB back in 2008 as a member and graduated to Chair in 2012. Over this time, I’ve watched PSAB change and, most importantly, progress.

I’ve always thought standard setters can be likened to those of a group of car mechanics when working together to rebuild a car engine. And like mechanics mining through every cylinder and valve to find what will make that engine run again, so too does PSAB and our stakeholders as we work together through every part of a standard that is in need of revision or development.

But a car is more than just an engine. If it’s difficult to drive, unappealing and unsafe, no one will buy it. By the same token, a standard is more than just a technical accounting principle – a standard has to be practical, doable and understandable by the stakeholders that need it. 

And this is where PSAB’s main point of progress lies.

I’ve had the privilege to listen and lead standard-setting discussions as they’ve expanded beyond the technical. Now more than standards technicians, our stakeholders have taught us to be standards architects.

PSAB is focused on considering the practicality, real-life application, and comprehension of the standards we set. All of these things centre on ensuring the public interest is top of mind as we work to establish accounting standards for Canada’s public sector.

This progression from technician to architect is – and will continue to be – directly reflective of our stakeholders’ influence. We aim to push through boundaries and consider new ways of doing things.

This year’s annual report theme, Progress Through Collaboration, reflects the vital role our stakeholders play in standards development. As I reflect on the past year’s work, I clearly see a demonstration of progress through collaboration.

  • We’ve made significant progress on many projects – including Employment Benefits, Revenue, Asset Retirement Obligations, Public Private Partnerships, and our Conceptual Framework – because of stakeholder engagement.
  • We’ve expanded our stakeholder reach by involving groups we don’t always hear from (for example, smaller not-for-profit organizations). We also increased the number of meetings and presentations we held in previous years as a way for stakeholders to talk with us, as well as continued our Public Sector Accounting Discussion Group – a public forum where stakeholders can bring standards application issues to our attention.
  • Our stakeholders directly informed our new Strategic Plan, released Spring 2017, which sets the direction of our work for years to come.

I want to thank everyone who I’ve worked with as a PSAB member and Chair over the years. It has been an honour and privilege to make a contribution to Canadian standard setting. I wish PSAB’s new Chair as of July 1, 2017, Charles-Antoine St-Jean, luck and goodwill in his new role.

Rod Monette, FCPA, FCA, MBA
Chair, Public Sector Accounting Board