Philip Smith, journalist

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has teamed up with Zurich University and the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board to launch practical guides for assessing the impact of Covid-19 government spending.

The launch is particularly timely, with more than US$9 trillion having been spent by governments around the world in the first three months of the pandemic to help bolster national economies, support businesses and protect individuals.

Public sector intervention assessment tools will become increasingly important as governments move towards recovery, as much of the burden of this additional spending will fall on the shoulders of both corporate and individual taxpayers.

IFAC’s step-by-step process and assessment tool will help to assess, evaluate and inform various types of government interventions related to the pandemic while also providing an overview of a route to accrual accounting.

Andreas Bergmann, professor of public finance at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, says: ‘This will not be the last time governments will need to act to mitigate an economic crisis, and accrual accounting also helps in designing economic interventions in a sustainable way.’

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