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Accounting Standards for Central Banks

Edited By Neil Courtis and Benedict Mander


The move towards transparency in central bank financial reporting is underpinned by the growing acceptance that central banks are a prism through which investors view markets. Accounting Standards for Central Banks provides a critical assessment of recent guidelines and offers a realistic and expert assessment of proposals for how central banks can upgrade and improve practice in this area.

A Central Banking Publications Book


Publish date: 8 Jun 2004

Availability: In stock


Book description

Financial reporting issues have traditionally been brushed under the carpet in central banks. Today’s required levels of accountability and transparency mean this is no longer possible. How far can and should central banks adopt commercial standards for financial reporting?

To answer this question, Accounting Standards for Central Banks brings together in one book contributions from leading international experts. Key sections explore critical issues such as profit distribution, foreign reserve accounting and the practicalities of adopting international accounting standards.

An exhaustive survey of best practice in over 40 central banks and original case studies, illustrate how leading central banks are in fact tackling these challenges. Accounting Standards for Central Banks addresses the following issues:

How far can central banks follow international accounting standards?

How should central bank profits be measured and distributed?

What are the implications of IMF standards for central bank transparency?

What should central banks disclose about their reserve asset portfolios?

Groundbreaking survey

Accounting standards for central banks boasts a groundbreaking survey of current central bank accounting practices. Importantly, this reveals a convergence of accounting practices among the world’s central banks. The survey also highlights trends in:

  • profit distribution;
  • transparency;
  • recapitalisation; and
  • audit practices.

Benchmark for central banks

In addition, the book examines current practice in some of the world’s leading central banks and thus offers a benchmark against which central banks can measure themselves. Other key issues explored in this volume include:

  • the role of external auditors;
  • financial reporting as a management information tool;
  • internal audit and control environment;
  • case studies of financial reporting in the Eurosystem, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Bank of Russia and others;
  • IMF safeguards assessment initiative;
  • compliance with the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard; and
  • financial risk management.

Book details

Publish date
8 Jun 2004
170mm x 245mm

Editor biography

Neil Courtis and Benedict Mander

Neil Courtis was editor of The Financial Regulator journal from 1999 to 2006.

Benedict Mander was a staff writer at Central Banking Publications and is now based in Buenos Aires where he writes for the Financial Times.

Table of contents

About the authors



Neil Courtis and Jeremy Foster

Survey of central bank accounting practices

Joshua Kurtzig and Benedict Mander

Financial reporting for management and stakeholders

John Mendzela

Profits, dividends and capital - considerations for central banks

Kenneth Sullivan

Reporting reserves - a market view

Lionel Price

The IMF safeguards assessment policy

Thanos Catsambas and Chris Hemus

Convergence of international accounting standards

Sir Bryan Carsberg

Comparison of key standards (IFRS, US GAAP, Eurosystem) with reference to central banks

Liliana Thornton

Financial reporting in the Eurosystem

Niall Merriman

Financial reporting at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Richard Perry

Financial reporting at the Czech National Bank

Jana Bacova and Miloslav Lorenc

Internal audit in the central banking community

Michèle Caparello

Accounting for reserves

John Nugée

Accounting for financial instruments

Andrew Hawkins

No plain sailing to International Accounting Standards

Tatiana Paramonova

International data dissemination standards

Carol S. Carson and Paul Austin

An accountancy standard for monetary authorities

Steve H. Hanke and Matt Sekerke

Appendix 1:

Questionnaire for survey of central bank accounting practices in Chapter 1

Appendix 2:

Coping with accounting standards and central bank transparency

Joshua Kurtzig

Appendix 3:

Central bank use of contingent liabilities

Mario Blejer and Liliana Schumacher

Appendix 4:

Extracts from central bank annual reports and websites detailing accounting policies

Appendix 5:

List of IAS

Appendix 6:

ECB accounting rules

Appendix 7:

IMF code of good practices: central bank accounting

and governance

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