What is IPSAS?
Last Updated: May 21, 2019
The International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) are developed by the IPSAS Board (IPSASB), a non-UN entity. According to their publications, "The objective of the IPSASB is to serve the public interest by developing high-quality accounting standards and other publications for use by public sector entities around the world in the preparation of general purpose financial reports" (emphasis added).
The General Assembly decided "to approve the adoption by the United Nations of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards" in resolution 60/283, section IV, of 7 July 2006.
IPSAS is gradually replacing the UN System Accounting Standards (UNSAS). Some UN programmes, funds and agencies have already implemented IPSAS in their financial reporting; others are moving to IPSAS as systems are developed to enable IPSAS-compliant accounting and reporting. With the adoption of IPSAS, the United Nations will move to full accrual accounting.
Umoja is the UN's enterprise resource planning system that will, among other things, provide the information technology systems to support IPSAS-compliant accounting and reporting. Umoja will replace several other systems.
The UN System Accounting Standards were developed by the UN Secretary-General and the executive heads of the UN organizations and programmes, as called for by various General Assembly decisions and resolutions, including resolution 47/211 of 23 December 1992. The text of the proposed UN System Accounting Standards is found in Annex IV of the Report of the 79th session of the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions (Financial and Budgetary Questions), ACC/1993/23. The implementation of the UNSAS began in 1993.
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