IPSAS Glossary


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accounting basis

The accrual or cash basis of accounting as defined in the accrual basis IPSASs and the Cash Basis IPSAS.

Reference: 24.7

accounting policies

The specific principles, bases, conventions, rules, and practices applied by an entity in preparing and presenting financial statements.

Reference: 3.7

accrual basis

A basis of accounting under which transactions and other events are recognized when they occur (and not only when cash or its equivalent is received or paid). Therefore, the transactions and events are recorded in the accounting records and recognized in the financial statements of the periods to which they relate. The elements recognized under accrual accounting are assets, liabilities, net assets/equity, revenue, and expenses.

Reference: 1.7

active market

A market in which all the following conditions exist:

(a) The items traded within the market are homogeneous;

(b) Willing buyers and sellers can normally be found at any time; and

(c) Prices are available to the public.

Reference: 21.14

actuarial gains and losses


(a) Experience adjustments (the effects of differences between the previous actuarial assumptions and what has actually occurred); and

(b) The effects of changes in actuarial assumptions.

Reference: 25.10

agricultural activity

The management by an entity of the biological transformation and harvest of biological assets for: 

  • Sale; 
  • Distribution at no charge or for a nominal charge; or 
  • Conversion into agricultural produce or into additional biological assets for sale or for distribution at no charge or for a nominal charge. 

Reference: 27.9

agricultural produce

The harvested product of the entity’s biological assets.

Reference: 27.9


The systematic allocation of the depreciable amount of an intangible asset over its useful life.

Reference: 31.16

amortized cost of a financial asset or financial liability

The amount at which the financial asset or financial liability is measured at initial recognition minus principal repayments, plus or minus the cumulative amortization using the effective interest method of any difference between that initial amount and the maturity amount, and minus any reduction (directly or through the use of an allowance account) for impairment or uncollectibility.

Reference: 29.10

annual budget

An approved budget for one year. It does not include published forward estimates or projections for periods beyond the budget period.

Reference: 24.7

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