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Relevant IPSASB accounting guidance for COVID-19

16 April 2020: The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) has issued a Q&A publication to provide insight into the financial reporting issues associated with COVID-19 government responses, and the relevant IPSAS standards that could provide further guidance.

IPSASB staff have compiled a Q&A publication to provide guidance on what relevant public sector accounting standards would be applicable in different scenarios related to COVID-19. It also goes further to recommend additional guidance for narrative reporting, outside the financial statements.

For example, many governments have put programmes in place to support individuals as well as society as a whole. The Q&A publication directs the reader to IPSAS 42 Social Benefits, which provides guidance on the accounting for government support for those in need. IPSAS 19 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets provides guidance on individuals and collective services expenses which may give rise to provisions and other liabilities.

They have also provided a handy link to further guidance on materiality, which will be important for accounts preparers.