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Less is more: exploring citizen-based financial reporting in local government

Kathryn Kloby (Monmouth University)

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

ISSN: 1096-3367

Article publication date: 1 March 2009



The purpose of this exploratory research is to identify key motivations, administrative costs, and instrumental benefits of translating data-rich budgets into user-friendly reports for citizens. This research draws from interviews with chief financial officers in local governments that are recognized by the Government Finance Officers Association for preparing additional financial reports that appeal to a citizen-based audience. Candid discussions and thoughtful reflections of respondents demonstrate that chief financial officers play a leading role in determining the style and extent to which financial information is communicated to external audiences. The research suggests that adopting this form of financial reporting, however, does not necessarily have an impact on citizen participation in the budget process. Recommendations from the point of view of the research participant are presented for practitioners interested in implementing citizen-based financial reporting. The research concludes with a discussion of the state of practice of citizen-based financial reporting of the research sample and areas for future study.


Kloby, K. (2009), "Less is more: exploring citizen-based financial reporting in local government", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 368-392.



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Copyright © 2009 by PrAcademics Press

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