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International Activities

In 2020, after extensive consultation with Canadians and careful consideration, the Public Sector Accounting Board (PSAB) decided to continue developing Public Sector Accounting Standards (PSAS), but future standards would be based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) principles. This means that if a project is undertaken and an IPSAS already exists, the principles of that IPSAS will be used as a base for developing the corresponding Canadian PSAS. To support this decision, we:

  • developed Criteria for Modifying and Reviewing IPSAS principles document to provide guidance on when departures from IPSAS principles are permitted; and
  • updated the CPA Canada Public Sector Accounting Handbook to position IPSAS as the first accounting framework to consult among pronouncements issued by other bodies authorized to issue accounting standards.

As of April 1, 2021, IPSAS are used as the base for developing a corresponding Canadian standard, if an IPSAS on the topic exists.

Accessing IPSAS

When matters are not covered by primary sources of GAAP or for assistance in applying a primary source of GAAP to specific circumstances, Canadians may consult IPSAS first before pronouncements issued by other bodies authorized to issue accounting standards.

Please note: The most recent French translation of IPSAS is the 2020 Handbook of International Public Sector Accounting Pronouncements.

To highlight key differences between IPSAS and PSAS, PSAB updated a standards comparison document.

To learn more about IPSAS, watch our Introduction to International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) on-demand workshop, available in English and French.

PSAB on the International Stage

As a founding member of IPSASB, PSAB is supportive of IPSASB’s work, and continues to engage in, contribute to, and influence its standards development.

IPSASB membership

At present, there is one Canadian member on IPSASB. Renée Pichard is currently an advisory partner at Deloitte Canada. PSAB provides in-depth technical support to her, and all future Canadian members of IPSASB.

IPSASB documents for comment

PSAB responds to documents for comment by IPSASB, taking into consideration Canadian-specific issues and perspectives. We also strongly encourage Canadians to monitor IPSASB projects and respond to these documents as well. We are also frequently in touch with both the IPSASB staff and Board members on issues that are significant to Canadians.

PSAB has submitted the following letters in response to the IPSASB's Exposure Drafts and Documents for Comment in the past:

International meetings and events

PSAB also participates in other international committee meetings related to standard-setting, such as the Public Sector Standard Setters Forum. From time to time, PSAB will also collaborate and hold meetings with standard setters from other jurisdictions.


Camila Santos
Principal, Public Sector Accounting
Phone: +1 (416) 204-3300
Email: [email protected]