Entities that adopt accrual basis IPSAS face many challenges. While the technical challenge of applying all relevant IPSAS should not be underestimated, it is equally important to make the right choices over accounting policies; whether and how to use the optional transitional provisions in IPSAS 33; managing the expectations of stakeholders; data gathering; ensuring systems and processes are adequate and managing the overall transition project.

IPSAS 33 First-time Adoption of Accrual Basis IPSASs is the key resource when transitioning to IPSAS-compliant financial statements. This standard must be applied by any entity whose first IPSAS financial statements are for a period beginning on or after 1 January 2017.

IPSAS 33 allows preparers to choose whether to present comparative figures in the year of adoption. Whether they do or not, the basic requirement is to prepare an opening statement of financial position in which the chosen accounting policies have been applied retrospectively. It may also be necessary to prepare reconciliations between previously reported numbers and the opening accrual basis IPSAS figures.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) is keen to encourage entities to adopt accrual basis IPSASs and IPSAS 33 offers specific reliefs from full retrospective application, usually for a period not exceeding three years. Most of these are optional and preparers must decide which of the relevant ones they wish to use. Some optional exemptions prevent an entity from claiming that the statements give a fair presentation and comply with IPSASs: such statements are referred to as “transitional IPSAS financial statements”. Other available optional exemptions are deemed not to affect the fair presentation and compliance.

IPSAS 33 also prohibits retrospective application of aspects of some standards.

Using real-world examples and case studies, this two-day course provides a comprehensive look at the complex issues facing first-time adopters of accrual based IPSAS, whether transitioning from Cash Basis IPSAS or from local accounting frameworks. Coverage includes guidance on setting up the conversion project, with application demonstrated via practical case studies and examples.

This practical program includes discussion of real-world experiences in transitioning to IPSAS and answers to implementation questions. Strategies and guidance for establishing IPSAS accounting policies are also discussed.

The program answers questions such as:

  • What does IPSAS 33 permit and require, what options are available and what are the pros and cons of the different approaches?
  • What are the practical consequences in the year of adoption using IPSAS 33?
  • What are the available policy options and their short-term and long-term consequences?
  • How can the costs and benefits of various courses of action be determined?
  • In what ways will systems require modification in order to implement accrual based IPSAS?
  • What are the most common pitfalls that occur during transition to accrual based IPSAS and how can they be avoided?

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand and apply IPSAS 33
  • Understand the available policy options and their short-term and long-term consequences
  • Determine the costs and benefits of applying a transitional approach over time to a short, full adoption
  • Implement practical strategies for managing the transition to IPSAS and avoid common pitfalls
  • Consider the system modifications and other changes that will be required in order to implement IPSAS
  • Gain the understanding required to develop an effective implementation plan for your company

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Skill Level: Beginner