Directive on Accounting Standards

Outlines the accounting, reporting and recording framework for the Government’s consolidated financial statements, departmental financial statements, and departmental quarterly financial reports.
Date modified: 2017-04-01

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Glossary

accrual accounting (comptabilité d'exercice)
A basis of accounting that recognizes the effect of transactions and events on a department's financial statements in the period(s) in which they occur, rather than in the period(s) in which the department uses its appropriation. This recognition occurs regardless of whether there has been a receipt or payment of cash or its equivalent. (Public Sector Accounting Standards, PS 1000.59)
appropriation (crédit)
Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund. (Financial Administration Act section 2)
central financial management reporting system (CFMRS) (système central de gestion des rapports financiers (SCGRF))
The Public Services and Procurement Canada electronic system that stores summary departmental financial data according to the Government-wide Coding Structure.
chart of accounts (plan comptable)
A list of codes used to classify, record and report financial transactions. A departmental chart of accounts uses codes that aggregate to the codes found in the Government-wide Chart of Accounts.
critical financial risk (risque financier majeur)
An event with reasonable probability that a significant unfunded financial obligation may arise, the department may be unable to fulfill its mandate, or that the event may cause significant damage to the reputation of the Government of Canada. The identification of a critical financial risk depends on the department's operating environment and management's professional judgment.
expenditure (dépenses)
An amount charged against a departmental appropriation in the accounting period.
expenditure basis of accounting (appropriation accounting/modified cash/partial accrual accounting) (méthode de comptabilité axée sur les dépenses (comptabilité des crédits, comptabilité de caisse modifiée, comptabilité d'exercice partielle))
A basis of accounting that aligns with how Parliament authorizes departmental charging against an appropriation. Appropriation accounting differs in its presentation from accrual accounting in that transactions that do not require the use of an appropriation are not reported.
expense (charge)
Decreases in economic resources, either by way of decreases in assets or increases in liabilities, resulting from the operations, transactions and events of the accounting period (Public Sector Accounting Standards, PS 1000.49)
financial authorities (pouvoirs financiers)

Includes:

financial management (gestion financière)
A continuum of finance-related activities undertaken to ensure sound and prudent use of public funds in an effective, efficient and economical manner.
financial management system (FMS) (système de gestion financière (SGF))
Any combination of business processes (end-to-end, automated and manual), procedures, controls, data and software applications, all of which are categorized as either program systems or central systems, that produces financial information and related non-financial information.
financial plan (plan financier ministériel)
A multi-year plan providing the basis for identifying the elements of the work and priorities to be delivered to achieve a department's mandate and programs. A financial plan supports the development of the in-year departmental budget and related allocations of resources.
financial reporting (rapport financier)
Internal and external financial reports and disclosures. Internal financial reporting can include financial information that supports decision making, risk assessment, planning, budgeting, resource allocations, accounting, performance assessments and reports. External reporting includes all financial statements, reports or disclosures, including those prepared for Parliament or designed to be made public.
guarantees (garanties)
A promise to pay all or a part of the principal and/or interest on a debt obligation in the event of default by the borrower. A loan guarantee is a contingent liability of the government. (Public Sector Accounting Standards, PS 3310.03, PS 3310.04)
internal control over financial management (contrôle interne en matière de gestion financière)
A set of measures and activities that provide reasonable assurance of the effectiveness and efficiency of the financial management activities of the department.
internal control over financial reporting (contrôle interne en matière de rapports financiers)
A subset of the system of internal control over financial management. Internal control over financial reporting is a set of measures and activities that allow senior management and users of financial statements to have reasonable assurance of the accuracy and completeness of the department's financial statements.
payable at year-end (créditeur en fin d'exercice)
  1. A debt incurred from work performed, goods received or services rendered before year-end; or
  2. A debt owing on, or before, year-end under a contract or similar arrangement; or
  3. An amount payable on, or before, year-end, resulting from transactions and events with other departments and Crown corporations. It also includes amounts payable as if they were debts under certain administrative arrangements, including memoranda of understanding with provincial, national or international entities and organizations. It also includes an amount payable under legislation in force at year-end.
respendable revenues (revenus disponibles)
A type of revenue that, once received, increases the departmental spending authority. A department requires specific authority from Parliament to respend revenues. Respending authority is derived from the Financial Administration Act (FAA), subsection 29.1(1); the FAA and an Appropriation Act, subsection 29.1(2); legislation specific to a department (e.g., enabling and/or program); or other specific legislation.
senior departmental managers (cadres supérieurs du ministère)
For the purposes of the Policy on Financial Management, senior departmental managers are typically departmental managers who report directly to a deputy head and are accountable for effective financial management within their areas of responsibility.
special purpose financial reporting framework (référentiel à usage particulier)
Accounting standards and guidance designed to meet the financial information needs of specific users as opposed to the common financial information needs of a wide range of users. (Introduction to public sector accounting standards .13)
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