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The first paper of this issue, by Petri Vehmanen of the University of Tampere, Finland provides an insightful critique of the draft conceptual framework recently issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standard Board. Petri observes that whilst the prime aim of private sector financial statements is to provide information for investors to make decisions about the entity, the prime purpose of public sector financial statements is to enhance accountability. This should be recognised and would result in the definitions of such prime elements as assets and liabilities being revised. His paper also recasts the qualitative characteristics of public sector financial statements. Petri concludes by saying that his proposals “are by no means radical”. However, they do provide a comprehensive and damming critique of the work of the International Public Sector Accounting Standard Board and so it is re-assuring that so few countries have yet to adopt their approaches to accrual accounting or indeed the cash basis of accounting.