Public Sector Accounting Standards

Consultation Paper 2, Measuring Financial Performance in Public Sector Financial Statements

Summary

Consultation Paper 2 has been developed by the Public Sector Accounting Standards Board’s (PSAB) Conceptual Framework Task Force. It seeks input from its stakeholders regarding:

  • the objective of public sector
  • financial reporting;
  • the identification of who public sector entities are financially accountable to;
  • the identification of what public sector entities are financially accountable for;
  • how the provision of information in financial statements can help to understandably demonstrate those accountabilities; and
  • reporting model alternatives to demonstrate the accountabilities.

Staff Contact(s)

Martha Jones Denning, CPA, CA

Principal, Public Sector Accounting Board

Background

A Joint Working Group comprised of selected PSAB members and Deputy Ministers of Finance was established to deal with concerns expressed by the senior government finance community. A final subgroup report was issued suggesting PSAB review its conceptual framework. The application of standards based on concepts in the framework were seen to be creating volatility in, and affecting the understandability of, reported results and making it difficult to provide actual-to-budget comparisons.

In response, and in formulating its 2010–2013 Strategic Plan, PSAB initially planned its review in conjunction with the work being undertaken by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB). However, the senior government finance community expressed concern, indicating that PSAB should be proactive in developing a “made-in-Canada” solution. PSAB agreed to revise its 2010–2013 Strategic Plan accordingly, approved a revised project proposal and recruited a task force.

In April 2011, the Conceptual Framework Task Force began its review of the conceptual framework with the primary focus on the concepts underlying financial performance.