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  Welcome to EPSAS.eu!

Dear visitor,

The current public financial crisis in Europe reveals the necessity for reformed and harmonised public sector budgeting and accounting systems in the European Union (EU). In times, when EU Member States act as a guarantor for other Member States' public debt, the intransparent and highly heterogeneous (cash-based) accounting systems applied by many Member States are no longer suitable.

In order to prevent future crises, the financial management of public entities has to be improved significantly. Better public financial management requires an accounting regime providing comprehensive information on a public entity's financial situation adopting an accrual, resource-based view. Time has come to promote uniform budgeting and accounting standards for public entities in the EU rather than admitting every member state to apply its own budgeting and accounting regime. Harmonised, accrual-based accounting standards are crucial since they e.g. improve transparency, allow cross-border benchmarking, increase accountability of public decision makers, and foster intergenerational equity in public entities' fiscal policy.

A system that could yield the benefits mentioned above is currently being discussed on EU level with the development accrual-based "European Public Sector Accounting Standards" (EPSAS). A suitable starting point for EPSAS are the so-called "International Public Sector Accounting Standards" (IPSAS). The IPSAS are a set of accrual-based accounting standards issued by the IPSAS-Board for use by public sector entities around the world in the preparation of financial statements. The IPSAS in general can function as a basis for harmonised accrual-based accounting standards in the EU. It, however, needs to be discussed, how IPSAS are actually to be transformed into EPSAS (i.e.: Which standards need to be changed and how? Are there standards that need to be newly developed? etc.). Furthermore, it will be interesting to observe to which degree the EU (or at least the individual Member States) also develop(s) corresponding budgeting standards.

The objective of the website EPSAS.eu is to inform interested stakeholders about the developments mentioned above. If you have questions regarding this website or the idea of introducing EPSAS, do not hesitate to contact us.

Andreas Burth Dennis Hilgers

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