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20 Apr. 2017

Financial Reporting for Heritage in the Public Sector

The accounting for heritage assets in Australia is specified by AASB 116 Property, Plant and Equipment.  Internationally, practices for the financial reporting of heritage items vary, including whether or not certain heritage items are recognised as assets.  The International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) is considering the need to develop additional guidance on financial reporting for heritage to improve comparability between jurisdictions in this regard, and has issued the Consultation Paper Financial Reporting for Heritage in the Public Sector setting out its preliminary views on the accounting for heritage items.

Outcomes from the IPSASB project could be the catalyst for future change to the accounting for heritage assets in Australia.

The IPSASB Consultation Paper explores the:
• recognition of heritage items as assets
• alternative measurement bases that might be appropriate
• recognition of liabilities related to heritage assets.

The IPSASB is seeking views on its Consultation Paper by 30 September 2017.  The AASB encourages Australian constituents responding to the IPSASB’s request for comment to send the AASB a copy of their submission.

Mike Blake, AASB Board member, is the Australian member on the IPSASB.