Are higher education institutions in Europe preparing students for IPSAS?

Berit Adam (Berlin School of Economics and Law, Berlin, Germany)
Isabel Brusca (Department of Accounting and Finance, University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain)
Eugenio Caperchione (Department of Economics “Marco Biagi”, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy)
Jens Heiling (EY, Stuttgart, Germany)
Susana Margarida F. Jorge (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal) (Research Centre in Political Science, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)
Francesca Manes Rossi (Department of Management and Information Technologies, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Publication date: 24 July 2019



The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether higher education institutions (HEIs) in EU Member States are aware of the relevance of the ongoing reforms in public sector accounting (PSA) and the need to prepare their students to become expert professionals in that area. It particularly assesses whether these organizations currently provide, or will provide in the near future, education on International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS)/EPSAS, so that a sufficient number of graduates will be ready to match the foreseeable demand for experts in IPSAS/EPSAS.


Adopting a purposive sample, the paper compares the situation in four EU countries (Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain). Data have been obtained through a questionnaire provided to selected professors in relevant HEIs in the selected countries.


HEIs are giving only limited room to PSA and financial management, with differences in terms of program offerings and coverage of topics among the four countries. Furthermore, in most cases, the programs are adapted to the national budgetary and accounting standards and courses are seldom focused on the IPSASs.


The paper contributes to the literature on PSA harmonization, through an innovative analysis of PSA and financial management teaching, both at national and international levels.



Adam, B., Brusca, I., Caperchione, E., Heiling, J., Jorge, S. and Manes Rossi, F. (2019), "Are higher education institutions in Europe preparing students for IPSAS?", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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