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Public Sector Accounting Standards

The Conceptual Framework: Resources to help you prepare

June 22, 2023 Resource, Guidance

Using the Conceptual Framework

The Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting in the Public Sector (the “Conceptual Framework”) was issued in the CPA Canada Public Sector Accounting Handbook (PSA Handbook) on December 1, 2022. 

The Conceptual Framework is foundational for the Canadian public sector in that it promotes consistency in understanding and interpreting public sector accounting standards – helping users evaluate proposed standards as part of PSAB’s due process, apply and interpret a standard when professional judgment is required, and understand information in financial statements. 

Public sector entities can also use the Conceptual Framework as guidance for developing accounting policies when no public sector accounting standard applies to a particular transaction or other event.

Start preparing now

The Conceptual Framework is effective for fiscal years beginning on or after April 1, 2026. PSAB is already using this new Conceptual Framework in developing standards. 

To better understand the new Conceptual Framework and prepare for the effective date, access our series of non-authoritative resource materials:

Significant strides made

Through the Conceptual Framework's multi-year review and consultation process, significant strides were made:

  • Path towards reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is underway. The Conceptual Framework makes specific reference to Indigenous governments, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act (UNDRIP) and acknowledges that accountability reporting beyond financial statements could include potential reports on reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and implementation of the UNDRIP articles. 
  • A relocation of the recognition prohibitions. The recognition exclusions related to (1) developed and non-purchased intangibles, (2) Crown lands and natural resources that have not been purchased and (3) art and historical treasures, have been relocated to the reporting model standard (Sections PS 1201 and PS 1202). This sets the stage for consideration of these items in PSAB’s future technical agenda.
  • Significant outreach conducted and extensive feedback received on this Project’s multi-year consultation.
  • Comprehensive framework grounded in the Canadian public sector.

Visit our project page to learn more about the Conceptual Framework, the project milestones and more.

Staff Contact(s)

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

Martha Jones Denning, CPA, CA Associate Director, Public Sector Accounting Board