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IPSAS Explained: A Summary of International Public Sector Accounting Standards, 2nd Edition by Thomas Muller-Marques Berger

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Foreword

In many countries all over the world, public sector accounting is in a phase of transition to resource-oriented, accrual-based accounting and reporting. Both nationally and internationally, however, considerable differences between the accounting systems and the published financial statements can be identified. Accordingly, public sector accounting is highly diversified, in formal respects and also with regard to the content. These developments are moving away from the key objectives of public management, which include reducing bureaucracy, achieving comparable standards in terms of accountability and transparency. Debates in recent years and developments in France, New Zealand, South Africa or Switzerland, for example, have shown that the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) could be a suitable means of harmonizing and aligning public sector accounting.

As a global organization with a strong focus on the public sector, Ernst & Young has therefore set about offering a contribution to the further development and harmonization of public sector accounting. We are convinced that the global use of IPSASs will enhance transparency and accountability – both of them urgently needed to overcome the current crisis of government's finances. The aim of the Second edition of this publication is still to provide decision-makers in the public sector with an overview of the IPSASs and the activities of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB). ...

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