EPSAS: Investment Into the Future
European Public Sector Accounting: Present and Future

Gergely Harsányi
PhD, Associate Professor, Budapest Business School, Department of Finance

László István Lukács
rapporteur, Ministry of National Development, Financial Management Department

Mihály Ormos
PhD, habil., Deputy Head of Department, University Professor, Department of Finance, Budapest University of Technology and Economics

Krisztina Sisa
PhD, Associate Professor, Budapest Business School, Department of Accountancy

Krisztina Szedlák
accountant, MARK Zrt.

Attila Veress
PhD, Associate Professor, Deputy Head of Department, Budapest Business School, Department of Accountancy

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2016/4 (p. 480-499.)

SUMMARY: At present, IPSAS – the International Public Sector Accounting Standards developed by IPSASB (the International Public Sector Accounting Standard Board) – comprises the only internationally recognised system of public sector accounting standards. Although its application is not mandatory for Member States, IPSAS plays an important role in the development and practice of public sector accounting across the European Union. Council Directive 2011/85/EU acknowledges that IPSAS – i.e. the availability of a complete and reliable set of fiscal data that is comparable across Member States – is key to the budgetary surveillance framework of the Union. The European Commission has passed a decision to establish a set of European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) applicable across all EU Member States, and the use of IPSAS standards may provide a sound basis for this endeavour. The most significant contribution of this paper is its attempt to summarise the current status of European public sector accounting, i.e. to present the practice of public sector accounting in the European Union and to outline expected changes in the European regulation of public sector accounting in light of the harmonisation efforts in progress.

KEYWORDS: public sector accounting, European public sector accounting, IPSAS, EPSAS, European Union

H83, M41, M48

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