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“United in diversity” public sector financial, statistical and budgetary reporting in the European Union

Adriana Tiron-Tudor (Department of Accounting and Audit, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Administration Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Cristina Silvia Nistor (Department of Accounting and Audit, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Administration Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
Cristina Alexandrina Stefanescu (Department of Accounting and Audit, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Business Administration Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 8 October 2019

Issue publication date: 14 April 2020

231

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to approach, both theoretically and empirically, public sector reporting at European Union (EU) level. It contributes to the accounting harmonisation literature by revealing the actual status of governmental reporting at the national level.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper carried out an exploratory data analysis of the harmonisation of statistical, budgetary and financial reporting at the EU level. A mapping visualisation offers a comprehensive overview of the current state of connections between these reporting systems.

Findings

The results reveal the complexity of governments’ reporting systems homogeneity, although all stakeholders recognise the struggle for the principles of performance and transparency in the public sector. Thus, these are following the EU Commission’s study, which concludes that there is significant heterogeneity in the accounting and reporting practices applied transversely throughout all Member States.

Research limitations/implications

The relevance of the study is comprehensive, from the economic environment to the practitioners, from the international regulatory bodies to the national ones, all can assess and quantify the significance of the past, present and future changes, considering their needs. The limitations of the research regard the documentation background because uniformly accessing some information presented by the EU Member States is relatively tricky. Future research might focus on the effects of these changes as they occur.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the scientific literature in the public sector through a comprehensive, well-supported and statistically grounded analysis performed at EU level, able to provide reliable results and to support valuable future recommendations towards harmonised reporting. Moreover, it supports and encourages all national and international efforts for improving the comparability of financial, budgetary and aggregated statistical reports.

Keywords

Citation

Tiron-Tudor, A., Nistor, C.S. and Stefanescu, C.A. (2020), "“United in diversity” public sector financial, statistical and budgetary reporting in the European Union", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 33 No. 2/3, pp. 265-283. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-12-2018-0272

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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