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International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is now introducing the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in corporate accounting and reporting.

IPSAS are independently-developed financial reporting standards. They are widely considered best-practice for public sector organizations, as they impose the most stringent requirements of clarity and transparency. IPSAS are based on full accrual accounting, in contrast to the United Nations System Accounting Standards (UNSAS) UNDP currently uses, which are based on a modified accrual method. 

In July 2006 the UN General Assembly passed resolution 60/283, mandating IPSAS adoption by all United Nations bodies.

UNDP will be introducing IPSAS in stages, adopting some IPSAS standards in 2009-10, more in 2011 and the rest in 2012.  

IPSAS compliance will ensure that UNDP’s financial reports will provide a complete and accurate picture of its financial situation. Therefore, adopting IPSAS will mean:

  • Improved accountability, as UNDP will be providing a complete and accurate view of its business and performance
  • Greater transparency about the use of our resources and about our liabilities
  • Improved management and planning thanks to more precise estimates of income and expenditure and a fuller picture of assets and liabilities
  • Better support for results-based management through the provision of more comprehensive information about costs
  • Harmonization of reports and statements across the UN system. This will enhance UN’s ability to act in unison towards key global objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals.

For more information on UNDP’s progress in introducing IPSAS, check UNDP’s corporate website

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