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Overcoming the challenges of implementing IPSASs & audit landscape Chris Ridley (ACCA Public Sector Global Forum) 24 May 2013. About ACCA. ACCA is a global body for professional accountants, supporting 154,000 members and 432,000 students

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Presentation Transcript

Overcoming the challenges of

implementing IPSASs & audit landscape

Chris Ridley

(ACCA Public Sector Global Forum)

24 May 2013


About acca
About ACCA

ACCA is a global body for professional accountants, supporting 154,000 members and 432,000 students

We provide services through a network of 83 offices and centres

We have members working in the public sector in 135 countries.


  • Why are accounting standards

  • important?

  • Information for controlling and reporting use of resources;

  • Information to improve quality of decision making.

  • Need for comparable data behind move to IFRS and IPSAS in many countries.


  • Important first steps:

  • Legal cover (Government Resources & Accounts Act 2000);

  • Defining accounting policies;

  • Designing chart of accounts.


  • Personal view on some lessons learned:

  • Long lead time (dry run accounts);

  • Most effort - Statement of Financial Position (assets & liabilities);

  • Reconciliation to cash;

  • Linking resource inputs to operational outcomes in the accounts.


  • Right people with right skills:

  • At outset too few accountants;

  • Move to make all public sector Finance Directors qualified;

  • Important to get right mix of numeracy and professionally qualified individuals embedded in business.


  • Whole of Government Accounts

  • Sets out public sector assets and liabilities at 31 March each year;

  • Enables Parliament and public to better understand and scrutinise how taxpayers money spent;

  • 1,500 organisations covered;

  • Audited first time 2010-11.

  • http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk


Why audit is important
Why audit is important

The financial crisis and its aftermath has brought audit into the spotlight like never before

In both the public and private sectors there is a need for increased accountability and better governance

Audit should be focusing on the wider picture not just the balance sheets and profit statements – the wider value that a business brings to the public and society

Audit is key to helping to promote public and investor trust

Audit can make a difference for organisations promoting sustainable growth and fostering strong ethics


Audit structures
Audit structures

Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs)

- 191 SAIs around the world (INTOSAI)

- Body, scope and responsibilities underpinned by legislation

- Primary duty to form an opinion on the government’s accounts

- Independent of the Executive – not always the case but should be

Internal audit

- Objectives are fully aligned with organisational objectives, and are widely understood

- Activities contribute to the overall assurance available to management and gaps are identified


Scope of external audit
Scope of external audit

Financial audit and assurance

Follow the same auditing practices as in the private sector, standards and ethical codes

Undertake similar procedures to gain assurance about underlying internal controls and procedures

Governance

In some countries auditors are expected to give a view on whether governance statements are robust – performance management, business plans etc.

Governance statements can provide an early warning signal of business failure

Attention to governance will provide a ‘Big picture’ view


Scope of external audit1
Scope of external audit

Value for money

Concern with whether public money delivers economy, efficiency and effectiveness (value for money) in the public sector

Concern with probity, legality and compliance in the public sector in most countries

Prevention of fraud and corruption

Level and extent of fraud and corruption around the world is significant

Auditors have a responsibility to conduct their audit work so that they have a reasonable expectation of detecting material misstatement or error which may result from fraud



Audit challenges
Audit challenges

Achieving the ‘big picture’ view

Increasing complexity e.g. financial reporting

Internationalisation

Facilitating public trust and confidence

Adding value to businesses

Continuing to develop contemporary auditing practices which are fit for the public and private sectors

Spotting the early warning signals in relation to business failure


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