The purpose of this paper is to explore the coexistence of cash accounting and accrual accounting systems through an investigation of the roles they fulfill in Greek municipalities.
The survey results are based on the answers of the financial department principals of 106 municipalities to a structured questionnaire. The roles of accounting investigated are informed by Ansari and Euske's model.
It appears that cash accounting information prevails in the major function of decision making, with accrual accounting information playing a secondary role. Larger municipalities seem to use accounting data more extensively than smaller ones for negotiations, both in accrual and cash terms.
The study sheds light on the actual use of accrual accounting information in a public sector setting, where customarily decisions were based on cash accounting considerations.
JEL Classification: M41
The authors would like to thank the participants of the 5th International Conference on Accounting, Auditing & Management in Public Sector Reforms in Amsterdam, the participants of the EGPA Conference in Malta and the participants of the 8th HFAA Conference in Thessaloniki for comments on earlier versions of the paper.
Cohen, S., Kaimenakis, N. and Venieris, G. (2013), "Reaping the benefits of two worlds: An explanatory study of the cash and the accrual accounting information roles in local governments", Journal of Applied Accounting Research, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 165-179. https://doi.org/10.1108/09675421311291900
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