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The rise and fall of accruals: a case of Nepalese central government

Pawan Adhikari (Bodø Graduate School of Business, University of Nordland, Bodø, Norway)
Frode Mellemvik (Bodø Graduate School of Business, University of Nordland, Bodø, Norway)

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies

ISSN: 2042-1168

Article publication date: 5 July 2011

1060

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to trace the rise and fall of accruals in the Nepalese central government, contributing to the literature on accrual accounting by looking at the developments in developing countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The ideas of institutional theory have provided a theoretical setting through which to trace the country's journey toward the accrual basis of accounting. Document search and informal interviews represent the major methods of collecting data for this paper.

Findings

The paper demonstrates that Nepal has been acquainted with the notion of accrual accounting since the late 1980s. The interest of international organizations and the involvement of professional accountants have been the two main factors driving this accrual accounting journey. The study also shows that the implementation of accrual accounting in the Nepalese central government has been an unsuccessful mission. This is why the notion of accrual accounting has been replaced by the improved version of cash accounting anchored on the cash basis International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS).

Research limitations/implications

It is beyond the scope of this paper to generalize that the trend toward accrual accounting has also reversed in other developing countries.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature dealing with the role and influence of international organizations in facilitating public sector accounting reforms in developing countries. Moreover, the study argues that there has been a change in the attitude of international organizations toward exerting pressures on developing countries to carry out accrual accounting reforms. This changing attitude of international organizations has led many developing nations to focus more on improvements in their existing accounting standards and procedures.

Keywords

Citation

Adhikari, P. and Mellemvik, F. (2011), "The rise and fall of accruals: a case of Nepalese central government", Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 123-143. https://doi.org/10.1108/20421161111138495

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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