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The effect of Implementing International Public Sector Accounting Standards on the Financial Reporting and Internal Control Systems in United Nations Agencies

Abstract of the Student #Thesis: Ayman I. Abu Haija

The United Nations (UN) agencies have invested significant efforts, costs, and time in converting their accounting systems from the United Nations System Accounting Standards (UNSAS) to the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). This research aims to explore, in an objective, scientific, and analytical manner, whether this conversion has achieved its two primary targets: improving financial reporting and strengthening the internal control system.

The substantial costs and time required for such a conversion and implementation are critical concerns for the executive managements of the UN agencies, their governing bodies, and their member states. The research intends to conduct a thorough analysis of the impact of IPSAS implementation on the financial reporting and internal control systems within the UN agencies. An independent evaluation of the implementation process and the results achieved by each concerned agency was provided.

To measure the perceived benefits of IPSAS, a Likert scale survey was conducted among a sample of UN employees. The analysis of the survey responses indicated that the IPSAS implementation has indeed improved the financial reporting of the UN agencies. It aligned their financial statements with globally recognized standards, making them understandable to all stakeholders and comparable across different agencies. Furthermore, the implementation of IPSAS has led to a better internal control system for the UN agencies, enhancing all aspects of internal control.

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