IPSAS - First-Time Adoption, Transition and Implementation (2 days)

Course code: 3500


Entities that adopt accrual basis IPSAS face many challenges. While the technical challenge of applying all relevant IPSAS should not be underestimated, it is equally important to make the right choices over accounting policies; whether and how to use the optional transitional provisions in IPSAS 33; managing the expectations of stakeholders; data gathering; ensuring systems and processes are adequate and managing the overall transition project.

IPSAS 33 First-time Adoption of Accrual Basis IPSASs is the key resource when transitioning to IPSAS-compliant financial statements. This standard must be applied by any entity whose first IPSAS financial statements are for a period beginning on or after 1 January 2017.

IPSAS 33 allows preparers to choose whether to present comparative figures in the year of adoption. Whether they do or not, the basic requirement is to prepare an opening statement of financial position in which the chosen accounting policies have been applied retrospectively. It may also be necessary to prepare reconciliations between previously reported numbers and the opening accrual basis IPSAS figures.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) is keen to encourage entities to adopt accrual basis IPSASs and IPSAS 33 offers specific reliefs from full retrospective application, usually for a period not exceeding three years. Most of these are optional and preparers must decide which of the relevant ones they wish to use. Some optional exemptions prevent an entity from claiming that the statements give a fair presentation and comply with IPSASs: such statements are referred to as “transitional IPSAS financial statements”. Other available optional exemptions are deemed not to affect the fair presentation and compliance.

IPSAS 33 also prohibits retrospective application of aspects of some standards.

Using real-world examples and case studies, this two-day course provides a comprehensive look at the complex issues facing first-time adopters of accrual based IPSAS, whether transitioning from Cash Basis IPSAS or from local accounting frameworks. Coverage includes guidance on setting up the conversion project, with application demonstrated via practical case studies and examples.

This practical program includes discussion of real-world experiences in transitioning to IPSAS and answers to implementation questions. Strategies and guidance for establishing IPSAS accounting policies are also discussed.

The program answers questions such as:

  • What does IPSAS 33 permit and require, what options are available and what are the pros and cons of the different approaches?
  • What are the practical consequences in the year of adoption using IPSAS 33?
  • What are the available policy options and their short-term and long-term consequences?
  • How can the costs and benefits of various courses of action be determined?
  • In what ways will systems require modification in order to implement accrual based IPSAS?
  • What are the most common pitfalls that occur during transition to accrual based IPSAS and how can they be avoided?


  • Introduction
    • Overview of the principles behind accrual basis IPSAS and its key Standards
    • The approach set out in IPSAS 33
  • Summary of requirements of key standards
    • Presentation of Financial Statements – IPSAS 1
    • Property, Plant and Equipment – IPSAS 17
    • Intangible Assets – IPSAS 31
    • Borrowing Costs – IPSAS 5
    • Leases – IPSAS 13
    • Inventories - IPSAS 12
    • Financial Instruments – IPSAS 28, 29 and 30
    • Employee Benefits - IPSAS 39
    • Provisions etc. - IPSAS 19
  • Application of IPSAS 33
    • Principles of first-time adoption
    • Distinguishing between transitional and first IPSAS financial statements
    • What is required to enable a statement of full compliance with IPSAS?
    • What information is required to be presented, and disclosed?
    • Specific prohibitions from retrospective application for first-time adopters
    • Optional exemptions that affect the entity’s ability to state compliance with fair presentation and accruals basis IPSAS during the transition period
      • Assessing materiality of such exemptions where taken
      • How will auditors and stakeholders respond if financial statements are not fairly presented?
    • Other optional exemptions that do not affect the entity’s ability to state compliance with accruals basis IPSAS
    • Guidance provided by IPSAS 33
  • Consolidation boundaries
    • Who needs to consolidate on first-time adoption?
    • First-time adoption reliefs available
    • Implications for first-time adopters of using the transitional provisions
  • Managing the IPSAS Transition Process
    • Planning the project
    • Involving the whole business and its stakeholders
    • Project and change management
    • Training the project team and operations staff
    • Communicating with stakeholders
    • Gathering data on assets and valuing them
    • Process and systems implications

Teaching method

  • Group live instruction, cases, examples, group work, open discussions
  • Description and explanation of IPSAS technical requirements in clear and simple language
  • Identification of the critical issues involved in the transition to and implementation of IPSAS
  • Extensive use of case studies and examples with practical application of the requirements of the IPSAS transitional provisions
  • Active participation is encouraged
  • All participants receive a comprehensive binder containing copies of the presentation slides, handouts and other course materials


Understanding of accounting principles based on national standards together with some understanding of IPSAS (refer to Course 3100: IFRS versus IPSAS and Course 3020: IPSAS Fundamentals - Accruals Basis). No advance preparation is required for this course.

Course benefits

  • Understand and apply IPSAS 33
  • Understand the available policy options and their short-term and long-term consequences
  • Determine the costs and benefits of applying a transitional approach over time to a short, full adoption
  • Implement practical strategies for managing the transition to IPSAS and avoid common pitfalls
  • Consider the system modifications and other changes that will be required in order to implement IPSAS
  • Gain the understanding required to develop an effective implementation plan for your company

Who should attend?

  • Finance and accounting managers of public sector entities considering to adopt IPSAS
  • Government officials and project managers responsible for IPSAS transition
  • Accountants and finance staff of public sector entities and similar agencies about to start or who are in the process of adopting IPSAS
  • Internal and external auditors of entities that are in the process of adopting IPSAS
  • Accounting practitioners and consultants
  • Accounting academics

CPE / CPD Accreditation


IASeminars is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org. 

Field of study: Accounting

ICAEW Partner in Learning

IASeminars is proud to have been named as an ICAEW Partner in Learning, working together to offer the ICAEW IFRS Certificate to our clients worldwide. ICAEW (The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) is a world leading professional membership organisation that promotes, develops and supports over 145,000 chartered accountants worldwide. CPE certificates obtained from attending IASeminars courses are an ideal way for ICAEW members and others to demonstrate their continuing professional development, provided that the topic is relevant to their learning and development needs.

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy

IASeminars is registered with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy as a CPE sponsor. Our CPE Sponsor ID is: 009689. This registration does not constitute an endorsement by the Board as to the quality of our CPE Program.


  • Our London seminars take place in 4 star professional conference facilities, generally in city-centre hotels like the Marriott, Sheraton or Hilton brands. Detailed Joining Instructions are sent to all registered delegates by email approximately one month before the event. The Joining Instructions will confirm exact venue details and nearby (or onsite) hotel recommendations with bedroom rates where available. Coffee and lunch will be provided.


  • Alan Mayo

    Alan Mayo is a highly experienced instructor in the field of international financial reporting, with a particular professional interest in IFRS for oil and gas companies and also in IPSAS for the public sector. He is a UK chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience as an auditor and consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers in both London and Paris. A founding member of the PwC Client Training business in London, Alan delivered courses on financial reporting and financial management to a wide range of PwC clients. Alan regularly instructs courses on international oil and gas accounting, and he has delivered in-house programmes for such organisations as ENI, Petronas, Kogas, Saudi Aramco, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas and the Ugandan Revenue Authority. He previously worked as an auditor on the privatisation of British Gas, and taught financial reporting and financial controllership programmes for Shell. Alan also managed a team within PwC that provided training and change management support to UK public sector agencies as they transitioned from cash to accruals based accounting, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence. His current work includes supporting UK local authorities and not for profits in developing the financial management skills of their staff, and he has worked extensively with the UN and other international organisations in their transition to IPSAS. An independent training consultant since 2001, Alan has been a senior instructor with IASeminars since 2004.

    Isabelle Andernack

    Isabelle Andernack is a French Chartered Accountant (Diplômée d’expertise comptable) and Financial Auditor (Commissaire aux comptes), and a Member of the French financial analysts’ institution (Société française des analystes financiers SFAF). She has some 20 years of professional experience in both the private and public sectors, including such activities as training, accounting, and managing the transition to new accounting systems. She also has significant experience in planning and implementation of an organization's transition to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). Isabelle has worked on many high-profile accounting and audit training and consulting engagements in the public and private sectors. For example, she has recently been implementing an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system for an international organization where she had previously led the conversion from cash accounting to accrual accounting under IPSAS, in order to improve its management and long-term financial and business strategy. Isabelle, who is fluent in English and French, is also a lecturer at Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University and at CFAF (Training Centre for Financial Analysts). She is the author of "L'essentiel des IFRS", a book on the essentials of IFRS with a foreword by Philippe Danjou, Board Member of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), and together with Caroline Pontoppidan has co-authored “Interpretation and Application of IPSAS” which has been published by Wiley.

In House

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Course details

Course schedule

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14 May 2018 London

Course level:
16 hours
Start date:
14 May 2018
Start time:
Finish date:
15 May 2018
Finish time:
GBP 1,750
Subject to UK VAT (Read more)
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