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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2019

Adriana Tiron-Tudor, Cristina Silvia Nistor and Cristina Alexandrina Stefanescu

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…

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.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 33 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Bernardino Benito, Vicente Montesinos and José Manuel Vela

During the first half of the nineties, many accounting innovations and reforms have been introduced in Spanish governmental accounting. In this context, the purposes of…

Abstract

During the first half of the nineties, many accounting innovations and reforms have been introduced in Spanish governmental accounting. In this context, the purposes of this paper are, on the one hand, to present the main features of local financial reporting legal requirements, which are very close to the central state accounting regulations, as well as real accountability and quality of reported information. On the other hand, this paper looks for an analysis of the main differences and similarities of accounting regulation among Spanish regional governments, identifying practices and users' expectations, as the result of a survey developed by the authors.. Also presented are some proposals concerned with a possible harmonised accounting and reporting common framework, in order to maintain the traditional homogeneity that has characterised the past governmental accounting system in Spain.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Jelena Poljašević, Vesna Vašiček and Tatjana Jovanović

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the application of budgeting and accounting bases and their relation to financial accounting reporting systems through a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the application of budgeting and accounting bases and their relation to financial accounting reporting systems through a comparative survey of three South-Eastern European countries (Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – the Entity of the Republic of Srpska).

Design/methodology/approach

The in-depth analysis based on the study of related literature and comprehensive review of existing indicators of accounting systems leads to the identification and characterization of the most important components of the government accounting systems’ focusing also on the information usefulness in the decision-making processes.

Findings

Dual reporting based on different bases is the main feature of the accounting information system of selected countries. Budgetary reports based on a cash basis represent the primary source of information for decision making. Selected jurisdictions started with the preparation and presentation of financial reports based on the accrual/modified accrual basis which was not the result of the informational needs of decision-makers, so the information themselves have become their own purpose.

Practical implications

By exploring the opportunities and obstacles in the implementation of the accrual basis in the selected countries, the paper contributes to the development of the EPSAS project.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature on the application of various budgeting and accounting bases, with an emphasis on research of the similarities and differences of the reporting methods, for the purpose of distinguishing more easily two basic types of reports and, consequently, identifying their appropriate use.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Abstract

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Article
Publication date: 9 September 2022

Magdalena Kowalczyk and Josette Caruana

This paper compares governmental accounting and budgeting in two European Union (EU) member states, analysing the developments in each country as to how they “fit” into…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper compares governmental accounting and budgeting in two European Union (EU) member states, analysing the developments in each country as to how they “fit” into the EU's harmonization project and the push towards the implementation of accrual accounting compliant with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

Design/methodology/approach

An explanatory multiple case study is used to describe the structures and changes in governmental systems (accounting and budgetary) in Malta and Poland. The methodology takes a qualitative interpretative approach, examining the underlying legislations and related ministerial publications as secondary sources.

Findings

Focusing on the output from financial accounting and budgetary systems, the results illustrate how organizations respond in a different manner to similar institutional pressures. In particular, Poland shows no inclination to adopt the IPSAS, but emerges with a sophisticated budgeting system while Malta is more focused on developing its financial reporting in line with the IPSAS. The theoretical lens highlights that while both countries tend towards pragmatic legitimacy, Poland appears more inclined towards exchange legitimacy, and Malta is more subject to influence legitimacy.

Research limitations/implications

At a practical level, this study should be read by public sector accounting standard setters. It illustrates how EU member states are engaging with the IPSAS, emphasizing the ambitious nature of the EU's harmonization project, in spite of the structural legitimacy that the EU institution emanates.

Originality/value

Previous comparative international governmental accounting studies have examined accounting reform processes and developed or applied various theoretical models to try to understand the process. This study looks at the output from such reform processes. The two countries are seemingly experiencing the same type of pressures exerted by the demands of EU membership. However, the translation of the same external macro-forces at macro-level to micro (organizational)-level results in different compliance with the desired harmonization of governmental accounting systems.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 35 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Josette Caruana and Kimberly Zammit

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between control by the Maltese Central Government on Local Government and the format and basis of budgetary and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the relationship between control by the Maltese Central Government on Local Government and the format and basis of budgetary and financial reporting used. The study analyses the role of reporting in agency and fiscal federalism theories.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were carried out with the controller (Central Government officials and the National Audit Office), while a survey was carried out with the controlled (Maltese Local Councils).

Findings

The type of reporting used by Maltese Local Councils may be undermining the control that Central Government seeks to exercise on overspending and debt levels. The Local Councils’ financial statements report accrual deficits and increasing liabilities. This overspending appears to slip through Parliamentary scrutiny because the latter approves cash allocations to Local Councils; the financial reports submitted to Parliament do not highlight overspending in cash terms; and the cash budget execution report that should be prepared by Local Councils is not given due importance.

Originality/value

Central Government should be consistent in its policy towards Local Government, which may require more elaborate reporting. This study highlights the importance of aligning the reporting required (top-down) and the reporting presented (bottom-up) – otherwise, control is at stake.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Abstract

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Sam M. McCall and William Earle Klay

If governments do not report accomplishments relative to costs, citizens will be uninformed. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board is encouraging Service Efforts and…

Abstract

If governments do not report accomplishments relative to costs, citizens will be uninformed. The Governmental Accounting Standards Board is encouraging Service Efforts and Accomplishments reporting but it is being opposed by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) and others. Analysis, reported here, of performance reports submitted to the Association of Government Accountants for peer review indicates participating governments are effectively addressing most, but not all, of the concerns raised by the GFOA. Future research and innovative practice are needed to facilitate better linking of costs to performance and finding practicable ways to independently validate cost and performance claims.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Susana Margarida Jorge, João Baptista da Costa Carvalho and Maria José Fernandes

Until the end of 1997, governmental accounting in Portugal was characterised as essentially cash-based budgetary accounting, using singleentry as the bookkeeping method…

Abstract

Until the end of 1997, governmental accounting in Portugal was characterised as essentially cash-based budgetary accounting, using singleentry as the bookkeeping method. The only compulsory accounting system was Budgetary Accounting. As many countries all over the world, nowadays Portugal is implementing a reform of the whole governmental accounting, which has as most important innovations the use of double-entry within a system compulsorily integrating accrual-based Financial and Cost Accounting along with Budgetary Accounting (still essentially cash-based). The main purpose of this paper is to describe and analyse the reform and current situation of governmental accounting in Portugal, especially discussing the accrual basis implementation. In particular, it shows that not only governmental accounting reform in Portugal has been going towards international harmonization, but also problems that have arisen are common to others faced by several countries. Perspectives of future evolution are also presented.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Eugenio Caperchione

This paper illustrates the aims and the contents of the 1995 Local Government Accounting Act, which introduced an accrual-based financial reporting for Italian…

Abstract

This paper illustrates the aims and the contents of the 1995 Local Government Accounting Act, which introduced an accrual-based financial reporting for Italian municipalities and provinces. To this end, this paper focuses on a sample of 23 local governments that produced these reports for the first time in 1998, and highlights a series of problems that emerged with regard to both communicational efficacy and fair presentation. The conclusions summarize the major gaps between the reform’s objectives and actual effects, and explain the reasons for these gaps and formulate some suggestions in order to re-design the system.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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