This Glossary contains all terms defined in the 32 accrual basis International Public
Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs) approved up to January 15, 2012. A list of
these IPSASs is located on the inside back cover of the Glossary. This Glossary does
not include terms defined in the Cash Basis IPSAS, Financial Reporting under the
Cash Basis of Accounting. Users should refer to that Cash Basis IPSAS for these
References to accrual basis IPSASs are by Standard number and paragraph number.
For example, 1.7 refers users to IPSAS 1, Presentation of Financial Statements,
paragraph 7. References set out in brackets indicate a minor variation in wording.
Term Definition Location
accounting basis The accrual or cash basis of accounting as
defined in the accrual basis IPSASs and the
Cash Basis IPSAS.
accounting policies The specific principles, bases, conventions,
rules, and practices applied by an entity in
preparing and presenting financial statements.
accrual basis A basis of accounting under which
transactions and other events are recognized
when they occur (and not only when cash or
its equivalent is received or paid). Therefore,
the transactions and events are recorded in the
accounting records and recognized in the
financial statements of the periods to which
they relate. The elements recognized under
accrual accounting are assets, liabilities, net
assets/equity, revenue, and expenses.
active market A market in which all the following
(a) The items traded within the market are
(b) Willing buyers and sellers can
normally be found at any time; and
(c) Prices are available to the public.
actuarial gains and
(a) Experience adjustments (the effects of
differences between the previous
actuarial assumptions and what has