Accounting Standards

In 2004, the High-level Committee on Management of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination recommended the creation of a Task Force on Accounting Standards, with a budget of USD 881,000 to be jointly financed by UN System organizations.

On 30 November 2005, HLCM recommended the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to improve the quality, comparability and credibility of financial reporting across the United Nations system. In resolution 60/283, the General Assembly approved the adoption by the United Nations of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards in August 2006.

A jointly funded system-wide project, supported by a system-wide project team, was established in 2006 to guide a harmonized approach to IPSAS implementation across United Nations system organizations and to achieve economies in addressing common implementation issues.

Since the adoption of IPSAS, all 24 organizations of the United Nations system have successfully completed their implementation of IPSAS and continue to receive unqualified audit opinions. Those results attest to the capability of the United Nations system to have achieved sustained compliance with IPSAS to date, with IPSAS continuously evolving in order to improve the quality of financial reporting, thereby enhancing transparency and accountability.

The project is now in the Sustainability and Compliance phase; here, the focus is on sustaining compliance of the IPSAS, that is amending and repealing the IPSAS standards based on the input by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB).

The Secretariat of the Task Force on Accounting Standards is tasked with keeping abreast with the developments and keeping all the 24 UN System Organizations informed on each development and change. The UN System Organizations must maintain compliance with the IPSAS; the Board of Auditors verifies that the accounting policies and practices as exhibited by financial statements and that reports are compliant.

Note for members: project materials has been moved to the collaborative platform Microsoft Teams. Please reach out to the Secretariat for more information.

  • Business Operations
  • Finance & Budget Network (FBN)