Purpose – Taking into consideration the lively debate about recognition, measurement, and disclosure criteria for heritage assets (HA) in financial reporting, the purpose of this paper is to examine the comment letters submitted by governmental organizations regarding the consultation paper (CP) on HA in order to understand what is the position of the governmental organizations in relation to critical issues of the accounting and financial reporting of HA. Design/methodology/approach – From a methodological point of view, a content analysis was performed. First, the responses were classified according to level of agreement with the 13 items included in the CP on HA; second, the arguments adduced by respondents in supporting or contradicting the proposed approaches and definitions have been investigated. Findings – The majority of responses came from countries with relevant differences in culture, administrative traditions and accounting systems. Governmental organizations strongly agreed with the recognition of heritage items as “assets” in financial reporting, while conflicting positions on measuring bases were identified. Originality/value – This study is one of the few studies based on the content of the comment letters received in response to the CP on HA. The present study can also give an idea of the content of the future IPSAS on HA. Moreover, it is the first study attempting to enrich the debate on governmental organizations’ participation to the IPSAS standard-setting process. Keywords Measurement, Heritage assets, Disclosure, Accountability, Recognition, IPSAS, Consultation paper, Governmental organization Paper type Research paper
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