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Strengthening Fixed Asset Management Through Public Sector Accounting

Public sector fixed assets (i.p. infrastructures) are key to the delivery of public services and the execution of core government functions. ZHAW-IVM developed a knowledge product for the World Bank Public Sector Accounting and Reporting (PULSAR) Program that elaborates mechanisms through which asset accounting may contribute to optimization of government fixed asset portfolios, their management and maintenance. The paper presents good practices rooted in international country experience and relevant standards, such as the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). It also discusses key issues and challenges related to fixed asset management through the lens of public sector accounting.

Click here for the report (PDF 12,7 MB)

PULSAR PSA Stocktake Paper

In cooperation with the World Bank, the Institute for Public Management (IVM) has prepared a detailed study which analyzes the Public Sector Accounting (PSA) environment of the thirteen beneficiary countries of the World Bank’s PULSAR program from the Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership countries. The objective of the study is to take stock of the current PSA environment by identifying strengths, challenges and opportunities within the PSA framework in each of the PULSAR program countries. Most PULSAR beneficiary countries are in a transitioning process from cash to accrual accounting. Due to limitations of the current accounting systems, they are aiming to change these systems to increase the level of accrual information. This study finds that the PULSAR countries can benefit from many strengths that will facilitate current and future PSA reform ambitions, among others a broad knowledge base and technical expertise in financial planning and budget execution. Nonetheless, the survey reveals certain limitations, which have been identified and grouped into different challenge clusters, relating to political, institutional, technical and human capacities. However, the study also reveals different opportunities to overcome these challenges, including peer learning and rapid feedback loops or common accounting traditions and cultural backgrounds, which facilitate developing joint solutions for similar challenges.

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Good Practice Template PSA Reform Roadmap

This report delivers a generic template for public sector accounting reforms. Its core element is a reform roadmap addressing both the complexity of reform processes and the necessity to customize reforms according to the specific circumstances of each individual country. It does so through a multi-layered approach containing 8 steps, which can be repeated as an iterative process as the reform progresses.

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Good Practice Outline Multipurpose Chart of Accounts

Chart of Accounts (CoA) form an important element of any public sector financial management system. In order to deliver the most value, a CoA needs to address a country individual accounting reality and both legal and institutional requirements. This good practice outline provides guidance on how to design CoA that deliver information beyond what is required by law, i.e. for more than a single purpose. Such a multipurpose CoA can provide information for management accounting, performance or budgetary reporting as well as the preparation of IPSAS based financial statements.

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Benchmarking Guide Integrating PSA and GFS

Public Sector Accounting (PSA) and Government Finance Statistics (GFS) fulfil different purposes within a holistic public financial management cycle and accordingly follow different paradigms. PSA focuses on recording and presenting financial information on public sector entities’ financial performance and position, while GFS determines the general government’s impact on the economy and serves as input for macroeconomic reporting. This report delivers guidance on how to integrate best the information provided by PSA and GFS by suggesting tools that can bridge the gap between the two concepts.

Click here for the report (PDF 2,0 MB)