The Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) was created to serve the public interest by establishing accounting standards for the public sector. PSAB also provides guidance for financial and other performance information reported by the public sector.
The Accounting Standards Oversight Council (AcSOC) oversees the activities of PSAB and ensures they follow their rigorous due process. AcSOC appoints PSAB members and provides input on strategy and priorities. AcSOC also assesses and reports to the public on the performance of PSAB.
Why PSAB Matters
PSAB serves the public interest by establishing high-quality accounting standards for public sector entities.
Independently set financial reporting standards are critical to promoting confidence in public sector entities. High-quality accounting standards contribute to transparent and accountable information that is made available to the public, as well as quality financial information to support decision making.
1981: The Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)* established the Public Sector Accounting and Auditing Board (PSAAB) after consulting with senior government stakeholders who saw the need for a national, comparable and consistent approach to financial reporting by governments in Canada.
1998: The Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (then called the Assurance Standards Board) took on the responsibility for setting standards and practice guidance for assurance and related services for public sector entities. This had previously been the responsibility of PSAAB. Accordingly, PSAAB was renamed as the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB). As well, PSAB expanded its activities to include local governments.
2009: PSAB took responsibility for establishing accounting standards and guidance for many government organizations.
View PSAB’s Terms of Reference.
PSAB’s stakeholders include:
- the public;
- legislature and council;
- investors, creditors and bond raters;
- financial statement preparers;
- public sector auditors;
- budget officers;
- public sector management;
- media and analysts;
- CPA Canada’s provincial institutes; and
- the accounting profession at large.
Between 10 and 12 volunteer members make up PSAB’s membership. View current PSAB members.
PSAB’s membership consists of:
- deputy ministers of finance;
- controllers’ general;
- legislative auditors;
- prominent public accountants with public sector experience;
- chief financial officers of local governments and government organizations;
- academe; and
- other senior government executives and experts in public sector financial reporting.
PSAB members are chosen for their knowledge, experience and judgment. They voice their personal convictions and views, independent of the policies of the government or organizations with which they are associated.
PSAB’s support staff includes:
- a Director;
- eight principals; and
- one administrative assistant.
The Board also hires consultants as the need arises.
PSAB consults stakeholders for their input to set its technical agenda.
A project survey is posted online to identify possible projects to be undertaken. Stakeholders are requested to identity projects that are of the highest priority.
The results of the survey are considered with established criteria and other factors as per PSAB’s due process.
PSAB normally meets four times a year for two days in private. To better serve the Board’s objectives, additional meetings and conference calls may take place.
View the PSAB meeting calendar.
PSAB’s Relationship with CPA Canada
CPA Canada is the national organization representing the Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) profession in Canada. CPA Canada provides funding, staff and other resources to support an independent standard-setting process.
CPA Canada and the boards and oversight councils function at arm’s length from one another. As a result, the boards and oversight councils, as well as their staff, carry out their standard-setting operations in an independent manner.
* The CICA, CGA-Canada and CMA Canada have since consolidated under the CPA Canada banner as the profession’s national body.