Search results

1 – 10 of 124
Article
Publication date: 14 February 2023

Laurence Ferry, Khalid Hamid and Paula Hebling Dutra

The aim of this paper is to compare the audit and accountability arrangements of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) internationally.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to compare the audit and accountability arrangements of Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) internationally.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on a theorisation of regulatory space, extended by new audit spaces of public audit, the scope of the research is the 196 SAIs that are full members of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). The study is based on documentation review, workshops with a steering panel, a survey of all SAIs (response rate of 64%, being 125 of 196 members), workshops with the seven regions of INTOSAI and discussion at Congress.

Findings

The paper suggests that the audit and accountability arrangements for SAIs is underpinned by INTOSAI's global voice, a country's regulatory space and a SAIs organization, capacity and scope that are themes used to structure the comparison. The results show there is diversity in the organization, capacities and scope of SAIs, but also an opportunity for recognising the positive potential of INTOSAI in fulfilling its global voice leveraged from the results of its work with its regions and members.

Originality/value

This is the most comprehensive research study of SAIs and the research underpinning this study enables SAIs to compare themselves regionally and internationally.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 September 2021

Laurence Ferry and Mark Sandford

The relationship between central and sub-national (local) government is contentious around distribution of power and control. There is a specific concern when a (local) place has…

Abstract

Purpose

The relationship between central and sub-national (local) government is contentious around distribution of power and control. There is a specific concern when a (local) place has power devolved, but centralised hierarchical accountability pervades.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses that concern by considering recent innovative developments around place-based accountability arrangements in England, through analysis of official reports and news media.

Findings

The article illustrates aspirations towards accountability to the local electorate clash with hierarchical accountability that remains an omnipresent mechanism of central control. It is suggested, accountability forums be developed to blend hierarchy and the place leadership role of directly elected mayors. This could enable local accountability to the electorate, whilst taking account of the context of specific regional level complexities.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to consider issues of place leadership and place based accountability within the framework of hierarchical accountability for central and local government relations.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2021

Laurence Ferry, Guanming He and Chang Yang

The authors investigate how executive pay and its gap with employee pay influence the performance of Thailand tourism listed companies.

Abstract

Purpose

The authors investigate how executive pay and its gap with employee pay influence the performance of Thailand tourism listed companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors manually collect data on the executives' and employees' remunerations for Thailand tourism listed companies and use the data for the authors’ OLS regression analysis. To check the robustness of the results to potential endogeneity issues, the authors employ the two-stage least-squares regression analysis and the impact threshold for a confounding variable approach.

Findings

The authors find that short-term executive compensation enhances firm performance, and that long-term executive compensation reduces the likelihood of unfavorable corporate performance. The authors also find that the gap in short-term pay between executives and employees has an inverted-U relation with firm performance.

Research limitations/implications

This study suggests that higher executive pay relative to employee pay could encourage executives to work hard to improve corporate performance, but that too large a pay gap between executives and employees could impair employees' morale and harm firm performance.

Practical implications

It is important for tourism companies to not only pay executives well but also avoid too large a pay gap between executives and employees.

Social implications

This study implies the important role of compensation design in contributing to employee engagement and good performance for tourism firms.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on agency problems between executives and employees in tourism companies and provides new evidence and insights on compensation research in the tourism sector in emerging markets.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

Keywords

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…

5295

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: 24 August 2020

Thomas Ahrens and Laurence Ferry

The financial resilience of local authorities has been a serious concern over the past decade due to austerity and its effects on local government budgets despite rising service…

5920

Abstract

Purpose

The financial resilience of local authorities has been a serious concern over the past decade due to austerity and its effects on local government budgets despite rising service demands. More recently, the scale and suddenness of the shock from COVID-19 has exacerbated problems of financial resilience. This paper explores the financial management responses required by a sudden, nationwide pandemic of such severity.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper applies the concept of financial resilience to English local government to analyse their situation in the aftermath of COVID-19. It is based on a close reading of official reports and the news media.

Findings

Local authority’s financial resilience could deal with normal levels of risk arising from austerity. However, the seriousness of COVID-19 alongside pressures still emanating from Brexit requires a significant level of central government support. This is critical as local government is expected to underpin future economic growth of the UK as well as deliver an important social response. Presently, the financial framework for funding individual local authorities through central government in terms of COVID-19 support is not on a reliable footing to answer specific demands. This can lead to gaming and perverse incentives.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to connect the financial resilience in the local government framework with the required central government funding procedures for sudden nationwide crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It identifies the need to define what effect key variables, such as local government financial reserves, local deprivation indices and anticipatory financial management practices in local government should have on the determination of central government aid for individual local authorities.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

Laurence Ferry and Richard Slack

Hybrid organising faces a fundamental challenge in managing multiple and conflicting logics. Prior studies have evidenced the performative role of accounting within such a context…

1084

Abstract

Purpose

Hybrid organising faces a fundamental challenge in managing multiple and conflicting logics. Prior studies have evidenced the performative role of accounting within such a context largely in support of neoliberal hegemony and economic logic. Mindful of such conflict and the support towards economic logic, drawing on universal accountings, this study provides insights from counter accounting and its potential to serve pluralism and the emancipation of marginalised constituencies.

Design/methodology/approach

The research examined The Great Exhibition of the North (GEOTN), England's largest event in 2018, which utilised themes of art, design and innovation to support a regeneration and economic growth agenda. This was led by NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) a hybrid organisation combining logics for economic and social legacies, whose accounts are contrasted to counter accounts from a social movement; The Other Great Exhibition of the North, “OtherGEN”. The study involved 30 in-depth semi-structured interviews, detailed observation and documentation review providing account and counter account of the event.

Findings

The findings reveal that GEOTN promoted an agenda offering a duality of economic and social logics through the arts and culture delivering a lasting economic and social legacy. This employed traditional accountings and associated performance targets and measurement through a formal evaluation framework. Emergent tensions were apparent evidencing a more dominant economic logic. The purported use of culture was portrayed as artwashing by a counter account narrative enmeshed in a backdrop of austerity. This wider accounting highlights the need for reflection on logic plurality and enables challenge to the performative role of traditional accounting in hybrid organising.

Originality/value

Universal accountings, such as counter accounting, can be advanced to unpack “faked” logics duality in hybrid organising. This reveals the emancipatory potential of accountings and the need for dialogic reflection. Hybrid organising requires careful consideration of accounting as a universal praxis to support social and economic pluralism and democratic ideals.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 January 2021

Laurence Ferry, Larry Honeysett and Henry Midgley

This paper describes the role and remit of the Scrutiny Unit, which assists members of parliament (MPs) with the analysis of accounting data.

335

Abstract

Purpose

This paper describes the role and remit of the Scrutiny Unit, which assists members of parliament (MPs) with the analysis of accounting data.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is developed through an understanding of the secondary literature and practical experience of the work of the Unit.

Findings

The Scrutiny Unit is an unappreciated and yet vital part of the way in which financial scrutiny operates within the UK parliament. It translates to MPs key financial and economic documents including the budget and accounts. It is a unique institution, covering the entire financial cycle of approval and accountability within parliament.

Originality/value

This is the first descriptive piece on the Unit in an accounting journal and contributes to our understanding of how financial accountability works within the UK parliament.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Laurence Ferry and Thomas Ahrens

Within the context of recent post-localism developments in the English local government, this paper aims to show, first, how management controls have become more enabling in…

2480

Abstract

Purpose

Within the context of recent post-localism developments in the English local government, this paper aims to show, first, how management controls have become more enabling in response to changes in rules of public sector corporate governance and, secondly, how changes in management control systems gave rise to new corporate governance practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Theoretically, the paper mobilises the concept of enabling control to reflect on contemporary changes in public sector corporate governance. It draws on the International Federation of Accountants’ (IFAC) and Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) new public sector governance and management control system model and data gathered from a longitudinal qualitative field study of a local authority in North East England. The field study used interviews, observation and documentation review.

Findings

This paper suggests specific ways in which the decentralisation of policymaking and performance measurement in a local authority (present case) gave rise to enabling corporate governance and how corporate governance and management control practices went some way to aid in the pursuit of the public interest. In particular, it shows that the management control system can be designed at the operational level to be enabling. The significance of global transparency for supporting corporate governance practices around public interest is observed. This paper reaffirms that accountability is but one element of public sector corporate governance. Rather, public sector corporate governance also pursues integrity, openness, defining outcomes, determining interventions, leadership and capacity and risk and performance management.

Practical implications

Insights into uses of such enabling practices in public sector corporate governance are relevant for many countries in which public sector funding has been cut, especially since the 2007/2008 global financial crisis.

Originality/value

This paper introduces the concept of enabling control into the public sector corporate governance and control debate by fleshing out the categories of public sector corporate governance and management control suggested recently by IFAC and CIPFA drawing on observed practices of a local government entity.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2021

Stuart Green and Laurence Ferry

This paper considers the nature and effect of accounting disturbances on organizational micro-practices in three secondary schools in England. A close application of a developed…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper considers the nature and effect of accounting disturbances on organizational micro-practices in three secondary schools in England. A close application of a developed model of Habermasian colonization provides a framing for both the ways in which accounting is implicated in organizational change and the effect of accounting disturbances on organizational micro-practices.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative field studies at three secondary schools were used to gather empirical detail in the form of interview data and documentary evidence. A total of 24 semi-structured interviews were conducted with teachers and bursars.

Findings

Accounting disturbances that were constitutive-transactional in nature had the greatest influence on organizational micro-practices. Behavioural responses to accounting disturbances can be organizationally ambiguous, subtle and subject to change over time.

Research limitations/implications

More field studies are needed, and there is scope to develop a longitudinal perspective to better understand the impact of accounting disturbances over time.

Originality/value

By framing the processes of accounting change using a developed model of Habermasian colonization, contributions are provided by illuminating aspects of both the processes of accounting colonization and the impact of accounting on organizational micro-practices. The findings also add to prior appreciations of reciprocal colonization, creative transformation of accounting disturbances and how accounting can be enabling.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 March 2023

Laurence Ferry, Henry Midgley and Stuart Green

The study explains why Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom (UK) focused on accountability through data during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on how data could be used to…

Abstract

Purpose

The study explains why Parliamentarians in the United Kingdom (UK) focused on accountability through data during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as on how data could be used to improve the government’s response to the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Understanding the implications of accountability for COVID-19 is crucial to understanding how governments should respond to future pandemics. This article provides an account of what a select committee in the UK thought were the essential elements of these accountability relationships. To do so, the authors use a neo-Roman concept of liberty to show how Parliamentary oversight of the pandemic for accountability was crucial to maintaining the liberty of citizens during the crisis and to identify what lessons need to be learnt for future crises.

Findings

The study shows that Parliamentarians were concerned that the UK government was not meeting its obligations to report openly about the COVID-19 pandemic to them. It shows that the government did make progress in reporting during the pandemic but further advancements need to be made in future for restrictions to be compatible with the protection of liberty.

Research limitations/implications

The study extends the concept of neo-Roman liberty showing how it is relevant in an emergency situation and provides an account of why accountability is necessary for the preservation of liberty when the government uses emergency powers.

Practical implications

Governments and Parliaments need to think about how they preserve liberty during crises through enhanced accountability mechanisms and the publication of data.

Originality/value

The study extends previous work on liberty and calculation, providing a theorisation of the role of numbers in the protection of liberty.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

1 – 10 of 124