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1 – 10 of 62
Open Access
Article
Publication date: 3 January 2023

Giuseppe Grossi, Ileana Steccolini, Pawan Adhikari, Judy Brown, Mark Christensen, Carolyn Cordery, Laurence Ferry, Philippe Lassou, Bruce McDonald III, Ringa Raudla, Mariafrancesca Sicilia and Eija Vinnari

The purpose of this polyphonic paper is to report on interdisciplinary discussions on the state-of-the-art and future of public sector accounting research (PSAR). The authors hope…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this polyphonic paper is to report on interdisciplinary discussions on the state-of-the-art and future of public sector accounting research (PSAR). The authors hope to enliven the debates of the past and future developments in terms of context, themes, theories, methods and impacts in the field of PSAR by the exchanges they include here.

Design/methodology/approach

This polyphonic paper adopts an interdisciplinary approach. It brings into conversation ideas, views and approaches of several scholars on the actual and future developments of PSAR in various contexts, and explores potential implications.

Findings

This paper has brought together scholars from a plurality of disciplines, research methods and geographical areas, showing at the same time several points of convergence on important future themes (such as accounting as a mean for public, accounting, hybridity and value pluralism) and enabling conditions (accounting capabilities, profession and digitalisation) for PSA scholarship and practice, and the richness of looking at them from a plurality of perspectives.

Research limitations/implications

Exploring these past and future developments opens up the potential for interesting theoretical insights. A much greater theoretical and practical reconsideration of PSAR will be fostered by the exchanges included here.

Originality/value

In setting out a future research agenda, this paper fosters theoretical and methodological pluralism in the interdisciplinary research community interested in PSAR in various contexts. The discussion perspectives presented in this paper constitute not only a basis for further research in this relevant accounting area on the role, status and developments of PSAR but also creative potential for practitioners to be more reflective on their practices and also intended and united outcomes of such practices.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2021

Enrico Bracci, Iris Saliterer, Mariafrancesca Sicilia and Ileana Steccolini

This paper aims to highlight the importance of (public) value(s) and publicness in accounting and accountability research. It pinpoints a range of issues that scholars need to…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight the importance of (public) value(s) and publicness in accounting and accountability research. It pinpoints a range of issues that scholars need to contemplate when reconsidering publicness in accounting research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts an interdisciplinary literature review associated with a conceptual discussion of the actual and future challenges of public service accounting and accountability in considering public value(s).

Findings

The paper illustrates the centrality of (public) value(s) at the individual, organizational and societal levels in shaping and being shaped by calculative practices, and shows that looking at the interconnections between values and accounting is a fruitful research avenue. Moreover, it highlights the power of embracing interdisciplinary approaches to illuminate these interconnections and relate them to complex and current phenomena.

Originality/value

The paper’s originality lies in the reconsideration of (public) value(s) for public service accounting scholars, providing a critical reflection and setting new research avenues.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 October 2020

Eugenio Anessi-Pessina, Carmela Barbera, Cecilia Langella, Francesca Manes-Rossi, Alessandro Sancino, Mariafrancesca Sicilia and Ileana Steccolini

The paper aims to offer a viewpoint on how governmental budgeting needs to be reconsidered after the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to offer a viewpoint on how governmental budgeting needs to be reconsidered after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on extant research, and drawing on the Italian context, the paper provides reflections on four interrelated aspects: (1) how budgeting and reporting processes and formats are being modified; (2) how budgeting may enhance governments' financial resilience; (3) how citizens are involved in the budgeting cycles and (4) how emergency responses may produce opportunities for corruption.

Findings

To tackle COVID-19 related challenges, budgeting, rebudgeting, reporting processes and formats need to be reconsidered and supported by the development of new competencies. Governments will need to put stronger emphasis on the anticipatory and coping roles of budgeting to reduce public organizations' exposure to shocks and support governmental resilience. The involvement of citizens has proven critical to face the pandemic and will become increasingly relevant due to the financial impacts of COVID-19 on future public service provision. Greater attention to the risks of increased corruption is also needed.

Originality/value

Drawing lessons from one of the countries most hit by COVID-19, the paper offers a viewpoint on a timely topic of international relevance by looking in an integrated way at interrelated topics such as budgeting, rebudgeting, reporting, financial resilience, coproduction and corruption.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Giulia Leoni, Alessandro Lai, Riccardo Stacchezzini, Ileana Steccolini, Stephen Brammer, Martina Linnenluecke and Istemi Demirag

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the themes emerging from the first studies exploring accounting, accountability and management practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the themes emerging from the first studies exploring accounting, accountability and management practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and coming from a diversity of experiences, across countries, organizations and individuals. In so doing, the paper gives an overview of the most recent findings about the role of accounting and accountability in times of crisis that are hosted in this special issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws together and identifies emerging themes related to the current COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on accounting, accountability and management practices and considers how the studies in this issue extend one’s knowledge of accounting and contribute to accounting research.

Findings

Three emerging themes are drawn and their contribution to accounting scholarship is discussed. The first theme deals with the role of accounting and numbers in supporting governmental responses to COVID-19. The second theme considers accounting practices used to make exceptional decisions at the organizational level in times of crisis. The third theme addresses a relevant frontier of research into accounting and inequalities.

Practical implications

In considering the diverse contributions of this special issue, the paper points out how uncertainty and change can impact the design, use and understanding of accounting, management and accountability practices and can be accepted by scholars and practitioners as part of such practices.

Originality/value

This paper provides a timely and comprehensive picture of the first reflections and research findings on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on one’s interpretation of accounting, accountability and management practices.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 9 December 2021

Giulia Leoni, Alessandro Lai, Riccardo Stacchezzini, Ileana Steccolini, Stephen Brammer, Martina Linnenluecke and Istemi Demirag

This paper introduces the second part of a AAAJ special issue on accounting, accountability and management during the COVID-19 emergency. The authors analyse the themes that…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper introduces the second part of a AAAJ special issue on accounting, accountability and management during the COVID-19 emergency. The authors analyse the themes that emerge from the second part of the special issue, which allows us to identify the diverse accounting and accountability practices across different geographical and organisational contexts. The authors also provide an overall picture of the contributions of the special issue, with insights into avenues of future research.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on the first part of the AAAJ special issue, the paper draws together and identifies additional emerging themes related to research into the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacts accounting, accountability and management practices. The authors reflect on the contributions of the special issue to the interdisciplinary accounting research project.

Findings

The authors identify two macro-themes and outline their contributions to the accounting literature. The first deals with the changes and dangers of accounting and accountability practices during the pandemic. The second considers accountability practices in a broader sense, including reporting, disclosure and rhetorical practices in the management of COVID-19.

Practical implications

The paper shows the pervasive role of accounting and accountability in the unprecedented and indiscriminate health crisis of COVID-19. It highlights the important role of special issues in producing timely research that responds to unfolding events.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to current debates on the roles of accounting and accountability during COVID-19 by drawing together the themes of the special issue and identifying future interdisciplinary accounting research on the pandemic's aftermath.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 August 2019

Giovanna Dabbicco and Ileana Steccolini

The purpose of this paper is to look at the European public sector accounting standards (EPSAS) project development path to explore how governance and legitimacy issues intertwine…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look at the European public sector accounting standards (EPSAS) project development path to explore how governance and legitimacy issues intertwine when a new standard-setting system is developed.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative interpretative multimethod approach is adopted, which encompasses document analysis and participative observations.

Findings

The analysis shows the role of governance dimensions, including institutional participation and consensus, in the process for securing the legitimacy of accounting standards and the related setting processes, pointing to the critical issues emerging throughout the development of the EPSAS project.

Originality/value

The definition of public sector accounting standards poses significant challenges to the accounting profession and regulators alike. A paradigmatic case of such challenges is represented by the decisions to develop harmonised EPSAS. A key contribution of this paper is to connect legitimacy dimensions with network governance, offering a view of the input, output and procedural dimensions associated with decisions to legitimise EPSAS and how these may be affected by network governance.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 December 2018

Ileana Steccolini

The purpose of this paper is to reflect various pathways for public sector accounting and accountability research in a post-new public management (NPM) context.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect various pathways for public sector accounting and accountability research in a post-new public management (NPM) context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first discusses the relationship between NPM and public sector accounting research. It then explores the possible stimuli that inter-disciplinary accounting scholars may derive from recent public administration studies, public policy and societal trends, highlighting possible ways to extend public sector accounting research and strengthen dialogue with other disciplines.

Findings

NPM may have represented a golden age, but also a “golden cage,” for the development of public sector accounting research. The paper reflects possible ways out of this golden cage, discussing future avenues for public sector accounting research. In doing so, it highlights the opportunities offered by re-considering the “public” side of accounting research and shifting the attention from the public sector, seen as a context for public sector accounting research, to publicness, as a concept central to such research.

Originality/value

The paper calls for stronger engagement with contemporary developments in public administration and policy. This could be achieved by looking at how public sector accounting accounts for, but also impacts on, issues of wider societal relevance, such as co-production and hybridization of public services, austerity, crises and wicked problems, the creation and maintenance of public value and democratic participation.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 24 May 2022

Michela Arnaboldi, Hans de Bruijn, Ileana Steccolini and Haiko Van der Voort

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the papers in this special issue on humans, algorithms and data. The authors first set themselves the task of identifying the main…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the papers in this special issue on humans, algorithms and data. The authors first set themselves the task of identifying the main challenges arising from the adoption and use of algorithms and data analytics in management, accounting and organisations in general, many of which have been described in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper builds on previous literature and case studies of the application of algorithm logic with artificial intelligence as an exemplar of this innovation. Furthermore, this paper is triangulated with the findings of the papers included in this special issue.

Findings

Based on prior literature and the concepts set out in the papers published in this special issue, this paper proposes a conceptual framework that can be useful both in the analysis and ordering of the algorithm hype, as well as to identify future research avenues.

Originality/value

The value of this framework, and that of the papers in this special issue, lies in its ability to shed new light on the (neglected) connections and relationships between algorithmic applications, such as artificial intelligence. The framework developed in this piece should stimulate scholars to explore the intersections between “technical” as well as organisational, social and individual issues that algorithms should help us tackle.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 March 2020

Carmela Barbera, Enrico Guarini and Ileana Steccolini

Studies on how accounting is involved in financial crises and austerity are limited. The context of austerity provides an interesting opportunity to explore the role of accounting…

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Abstract

Purpose

Studies on how accounting is involved in financial crises and austerity are limited. The context of austerity provides an interesting opportunity to explore the role of accounting in shaping governmental financial resilience, i.e. the capacity of governments to cope with shocks affecting their financial conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a multiple case analysis of eight Italian municipalities, this paper explores how accounting contributes to the government capacities which are used to anticipate and respond to shocks affecting public finances.

Findings

Municipalities cope with financial shocks differently; accounting can support self–regulation and can affect internally-led or externally-led adaptation. Different combinations of anticipatory and coping capacities lead to different responses to shocks.

Practical implications

The findings can be useful for public managers, policymakers and oversight bodies for strengthening governmental financial resilience in the face of crises and austerity.

Originality/value

The results provide evidence of the conditions, contexts, processes under which accounting becomes a medium which can support both anticipation of and coping with financial shocks, supporting cuts in some cases and resistance in the short run or driving long-term changes intended to maintain public services as much intact as possible. This highlights the existence of different patterns of governmental financial resilience and thus indicates ways of best preserving the service of the public interest.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 August 2019

Eugenio Anessi-Pessina, Josette Caruana, Mariafrancesca Sicilia and Ileana Steccolini

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the convergence of private and public sector accounting standards is affecting conceptual and practical issues relating to heritage…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the convergence of private and public sector accounting standards is affecting conceptual and practical issues relating to heritage. More specifically, the paper is intended to provide a better understanding of the state of the art in national and international accounting standards on heritage assets, and of the views influencing such standards.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative documentary analysis is carried out to explore the variety of existing positions and views on heritage, ranging from the scholarly literature, through potential stakeholders and users, to international and national standard setters.

Findings

The analysis shows that the path of convergence between public and private sector standards and practices is still problematic. After more than two decades of debate around the nature, definition, measurement, and reporting of heritage, these issues are far from settled.

Research limitations/implications

In the light of calls for increased measurement and reporting of public sector “assets”, and specifically for the definition of standards to recognise heritage, the paper suggests the need to strongly reconsider whether the convergence between public and private sector standards is desirable, feasible and effective. As such, the risks of embracing simplified or hybrid forms of accounting and reporting for heritage should be more seriously assessed. While reporting on heritage is important, it is fundamental to keep it distinct from reporting on government’s regular operations, in order to appreciate its specific value, nature and features.

Originality/value

Looking at European national standards for heritage, the IPSASB’s proposals, and the reactions to the latter by relevant stakeholders, the paper provides a pluralistic view on the positions and experiences about heritage, contributing to the debate on the convergence between private and public sector accounting standards.

Details

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

Keywords

1 – 10 of 62