In April 2021, the UNCTAD Debt Management and Financial Analysis System (DMFAS) Programme and ZHAW School of Management and Law started a collaboration aimed at ensuring compatibility of the upcoming DMFAS software (version 7) with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) standards.
The output of the collaboration will be the design of a new functionality in DMFAS 7 for the calculation of amortized cost as per IPSAS 41 (financial liabilities). This new feature will be part of a series of improvements in the DMFAS software, including the expansion of debt data coverage, new features for debt operations and transactions, and improved tools for reporting.
It is expected that DMFAS 7 will respond to the needs of an increasing number of DMFAS user countries adopting the IPSAS methodology to calculate debt positions based on accrual accounting (i.e., the calculation of amortized cost) in conformity with international standards. This will also facilitate the integration of DMFAS with national integrated financial management information systems.
An initial workshop took place on 22 and 23 April in Geneva, during which experts from DMFAS and ZHAW examined the needs for specific developments to make DMFAS 7 IPSAS 41 compatible. The very fruitful discussions focused mainly on how generate calculations in DMFAS in line with IPSAS 41.
“During these two days, we had very enriching discussions and we could visualize the high-level requirements and even more importantly identify the complex cases that will require special attention to ensure full compatibility with IPSAS 41.”
Roula Katergi, Team leader of the Quality Assurance and User Support Unit, DMFAS Programme
The next step will include a detailed needs assessment and a user requirement definition for the development of this functionality in DMFAS 7.
This workshop was made possible thanks to the support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) which is facilitating collaboration between the DMFAS Programme and ZHAW School of Management and Law. SECO has been a strong supporter of the DMFAS Programme for over 25 years. The Project Support Partnership (PSP) between SECO and ZHAW School of Management and Law in the area of Public Financial Management began in 2008 and focusses on Public Sector Accounting and Auditing.
“Both debt management and public sector accounting are key functions of public financial management. Integrating them is the state-of-the-art and brings significant synergies.”
Prof. Dr. Andreas Bergmann, Director Public Sector, ZHAW School of Management and Law