The Public Sector Accounting and Reporting (PULSAR) Program held a joint workshop on December 1, 2022, for members of its Communities of Practice: on Financial Reporting (FinCoP) and Education (EduCoP). The EduCop was also joined by the members of The Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in Countries of the Eastern Partnership (STAREP) Program. The workshop was organized by the World Bank Centre for Financial Reporting Reform (CFRR) as part of events marking 15 years of CFRR activities.
PULSAR supports the enhancement of public sector accounting (PSA) and financial reporting frameworks, in line with international standards and in accordance with good practices, to improve government accountability, transparency, and performance. A key theme for this workshop was different approaches in terms of consolidation from a range of perspectives, including regulatory framework, scope, and practical application. Consolidation is an essential but challenging process in terms of implementation of PSA reforms. The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board explained its guidance on consolidation, which uses an economic perspective based on the concept of control, due to the complex organization of the public sector and its wide range of decentralized and subnational entities. Participants also heard about other approaches, such as consolidation according to an organizational structure set by legislation. The International Monetary Fund outlined its Government Finance Statistic framework that follows a statistical perspective and delimits the statistic compilation scope by grouping institutional units into sectors and subsectors. PULSAR’s latest knowledge product “Consolidation of Financial Statements at Different Levels of Government” was presented at the event, this seeks to deepen understanding of the accounting requirements and good practices related to consolidation of financial statements at different levels of government. A wide-ranging discussion on the concept of consolidation involving PULSAR countries and other experts and including audience questions highlighted different experiences and shared good practices.
The EduCoP section of the Workshop focused on the implementation of recent developments in the International Education Standards (IESs) in beneficiary countries of both PULSAR and STAREP programs. IESs present the underlying principles, concepts, and definitions that enhance accountancy education for current and aspiring professional accountants. The standards address entry to the accounting profession and continuing professional development for professional accountants and engagement partners. Participants discussed the main takeaways from recent online seminars on IES updates and the results of an EduCoP survey on IESs’ implementation and their reflection in accounting curricula. PULSAR and STAREP countries representatives updated colleagues about their progress in addressing the challenges and opportunities for accountancy educators.
The Workshop closed with agreement on future areas of focus for activities, topics for the next conference, and knowledge products for the CoPs.