Analysis of Belgian Public Accounting and Its Compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) 1, 6 and 22

  •  Sabrina Bellanca    
  •  Julien Vandernoot    


Belgian public accounting, which is continuously evolving, has to meet international standards. The aim of this
paper is to describe the current Belgian public accounting systems and to analyze their compliance with IPSAS
1, 6 and 22, key points of modern accounting.
We first describe the development of Belgian public accounting since 1846. We then focus on the 2003
accounting reform, and more specifically its content and its triggering factors. The level of implementation of
this reform in the different Belgian public entities is then studied. We also make a presentation of IPSAS
standards and a list of factors that contribute to or hinder their adoption, followed by an assessment of the
current state of their implementation in the world. Finally, we evaluate the compliance of Belgian public
accounting with IPSAS 1, 6 and 22. We conclude that the implementation of the 2003 accounting reform as well
as the compliance with IPSAS standards vary greatly from one entity to another. In Belgium, public accounting
is being modernized but IPSAS do not seem to interest public authorities. Indeed, although accrual accounting is
more and more used in public entities, IPSAS have disadvantages and are still incomplete to meet the
requirements of public sector.

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