Transition to the Accrual Basis of Accounting for Government Entities (2-day course)

Course Details

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This two-day course gives delegates an overview of accrual-basis concepts relevant to accounting for governments and government entities. This valuable programme provides a sound understanding of the financial accounting issues of transitioning from the cash basis or modified cash basis to the accrual basis of accounting. The course is particularly suitable for financial and non-financial professionals and officers working at governments and government entities. The programme is intended to assist governments and government entities wishing to migrate to the accrual basis of accounting, in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). It also assists governments and government entities in complying with the additional disclosures encouraged by =i:[Cash Basis IPSAS – Financial Reporting Under the Cash Basis of Accounting]. Typical participants are looking for practical guidance and supporting information for their governments and government entities making the transition to the accrual basis of accounting. Participants will be able to identify the nature and scope of many of the tasks required during this process. General issues associated with the transition to accrual accounting are addressed, including factors influencing the nature and speed of the transition to accrual accounting in the public sector, options in respect of the available transition paths, and management of the transition process. A wide range of transitional paths between the cash and accrual bases of accounting is possible. This course is structured in a manner that is useful to delegates, regardless of which transitional path they may follow. The extent of information currently available on assets and liabilities and the reliability of that information will vary greatly between jurisdictions and individual entities. Our expert instructors address the related significant implications for internal controls and external audits. Issues associated with the identification, design and delivery of training are also explored, as well as effective project management. In addition, the programme includes a discussion of topics covered by current accrual-basis IPSAS, as well as certain topics not yet addressed by the IPSAS Board. The course is structured around four main parts: 1. Introduction – general planning and project management issues related to a transition. 2. General Financial Reporting Issues – selection, development and approval of accounting policies, and issues associated with the definition and identification of reporting entities. 3. Financial Elements – broad steps (adapted and applied to particular items) required for the identification, recognition, measurement and disclosure of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses. 4. Specific Topics – highlights of implementation issues associated with specific accrual IPSAS and guidance in relation to selected topics not addressed, or partially addressed, by existing IPSASs. The programme answers questions such as: +What are examples of accounting policies that may be required in order for an entity to prepare cash basis reports? +What are the benefits of accrual accounting? +What issues related to accounting changes are relevant in managing the process? +What factors are commonly present in a successful transition? +What are the key headings of an Implementation Plan? +What significant changes in required skills should be envisaged in a transition to accrual-based accounting? +What are useful references for further study and implementation? +What are general reporting entity issues? +How should property, plant and equipment be accounted for in the opening balance? +What information should generally be recorded in asset registers? +What is the impact on internal controls when moving to accrual-based accounting? +What are issues external auditors generally look into related to accrual-based financial statements? +How should specific topics such as intangible assets, financial instruments, employee-related liabilities, environmental liabilities and non-exchange revenues be accounted for? Delegates attending this course are encouraged to raise questions and interact with other delegates, therefore learning from the practical transition experiences of governments or government entities.

Learning Objectives

Understand the differences between accounting on a cash-basis and accrual-based accounting for entities in the public sector Gain knowledge of the wider context in which the transition to accrual accounting may occur Discuss various transition paths that entities choosing an incremental implementation process may adopt Develop the skills to manage the process of transition and gain knowledge of key factors for a successful transition Identify the main tasks associated with recognition of assets, liabilities, revenue and expenses, including issues associated with identification and measurement of these elements Gain knowledge of the general issues relating to adoption of accrual IPSAS Be informed on practical suggestions based on the experiences of other entities and jurisdictions


=u:[Day 1] +Introduction +Managing the process +Skills assessment and training +General financial reporting issues +International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) +Accounting Policy Issues =u:[Day 2] +General: Assets, Liabilities, Revenues and Expenses +Specific: Cash, Intangible assets, Financial instruments, Employee-related liabilities +Liabilities arising from social policy obligations, Non-exchange revenue, Foreign currency, Segment reporting, Related party disclosures +Auditing and internal control implications +New and future developments in the Government Sector

Teaching Method

Live group instruction Review of the rationale, objective and scope of public sector accounting concepts Extensive use of case studies and real-world examples to illustrate practical application of the accounting concepts Interactive participation is highly encouraged All participants receive a comprehensive binder containing copies of the presentation slides, handouts and other course materials


The instructor for this course will be drawn from one of our core faculty of subject matter experts. Further details will be published at the earliest opportunity.


Our 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.


None, although practical experience in Public Sector Accounting is beneficial. No advance preparation is required for this course.