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Public Sector Accounting Standards

Intangible Assets


PSAB is developing a Canadian public sector accounting standard for intangible assets based on feedback from PSAB’s 2022 Work Plan Consultation. The new intangible assets standard will replace PUBLIC SECTOR GUIDELINE (PSG),8, Purchased Intangibles.

This standard will provide foundational guidance on intangible assets including the definition, recognition, measurement, and required disclosures of intangible assets. It will also allow PSAB to fill an existing gap in the CPA Canada Public Sector Accounting (PSA) Handbook for guidance on purchased intangibles, developed intangibles, and software assets not integral to computer hardware, within one standard.

As part of this project, PSAB will also develop guidance related to Cloud Computing Arrangements in the Canadian Public Sector.

This project will be the first official application of PSAB’s International Strategy, which was effective as of April 1, 2021. In developing the intangible assets standard, the principles of IPSAS 31, Intangible Assets, will be considered for modification in accordance with PSAB’s Criteria for Modifying and Reviewing IPSAS principles which state that PSAB will make amendments to an IPSAS principle if: 

  • it is contrary to PSAB’s Conceptual Framework; and 
  • PSAB finds the principle is not appropriate for application in Canada based on the Canadian public interest. 

Staff Contact(s)

Iman Sheikh, CPA, CA Principal, Public Sector Accounting Board

Sophia Kasozi, CPA, CA Principal, Public Sector Accounting Board

Antonella Risi, CPA, CA Associate Director, Public Sector Accounting Board

Project Status

  • Information gathering

    ​Initial information gathering completed August 2023​

  • Approving project

    Project approved September 2023​

  • Consulting stakeholders
  • Deliberating feedback
  • Final pronouncement

Meeting & event summaries

October 31, 2023

PSAB Decision Summary – September 28-29, 2023

The Board approved the Intangible Assets project proposal, including an accounting guideline to provide guidance on cloud computing arrangements (CCAs). PSAB reviewed and provided feedback on the approach and timelines to incorporate guidance on CCAs as part of the Intangible Assets project.

Staff will first work to develop an intangible assets standard for the public sector by applying PSAB's International Strategy based on principles in IPSAS 31, Intangible Assets. Once the intangible asset standard has been exposed for comments, staff will then proceed to develop guidance for CCAs in the form of an accounting guideline.


This project summary has been prepared for information purposes only. Decisions reported are tentative and reflect only the current status of discussions on this project, which may change after further Board deliberations. Decisions to publish Handbook material are final only after a formal voting process.