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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

David S. T. Matkin

Recent financial scandals in the private sector have led to widespread speculation that public organizations may be susceptible to similar events of financial misconduct…

Abstract

Recent financial scandals in the private sector have led to widespread speculation that public organizations may be susceptible to similar events of financial misconduct and should, therefore, be required to adopt similar strategies to those that are mandated of private-sector corporations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. This paper looks at one of those strategies by examining the use of audit committees in U.S. local governments. Specifically, this paper explores (1) why local governments have heretofore voluntarily created audit committees, (2) the perceived benefits and problems of audit committees, and (3) whether the use of audit committees is compatible with the principal-agent logic that underlies their promotion.

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2002

Gary Giroux, Rowan Jones and Maurice Pendlebury

This paper offers a comparison of local government accounting and auditing in the U.S. and the U.K., including descriptions of the wider environment of the two…

Abstract

This paper offers a comparison of local government accounting and auditing in the U.S. and the U.K., including descriptions of the wider environment of the two governmental systems. The paper identifies two major differences in accounting. The first is that, in the U.S., the standard-setter makes requirements, whereas the U.K. policy-maker issues recommendations, which are sometimes not followed. The second is that, in the context of public reports outside the audited financial statements, the U.K. government has mandated the preparation and publication of performance measures by local governments.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2019

Wahyudin Nor, Muhammad Hudaya and Rifqi Novriyandana

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which audit opinion, audit findings, follow-up audit recommendations, level of education, level of welfare and heads…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the extent to which audit opinion, audit findings, follow-up audit recommendations, level of education, level of welfare and heads of local governments’ commitment influence the disclosure of financial statements on the official website of local government.

Design/methodology/approach

The data of this research comprise 68 financial statements during the period 2015–2016 collected from 34 local governments across Indonesia by employing the census method. The data then are analyzed using logistic regression.

Findings

The results of this study show that audit opinion has a positive significant influence on the disclosure of financial statements on local government websites in Indonesia, while the audit findings, follow-up audit recommendations, level of education, level of welfare and heads of local governments’ commitment have no significant influences on the disclosure of financial statements local governments’ websites across Indonesia.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the public sector accounting research by enhancing our understanding to the disclosure of financial statements on local government websites.

Details

Asian Journal of Accounting Research, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2443-4175

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Abstract

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Steve Modlin

The financial audit process has provided much transparency into the internal control structure and the ability of local governments to remain fiscally stable. The outcomes…

Abstract

The financial audit process has provided much transparency into the internal control structure and the ability of local governments to remain fiscally stable. The outcomes of many of these audits have provided much information regarding the ability of local governments to provide services in a timely and efficient manner. Even with the implementation of stricter legislation and more stringent accounting standards in addition to an increased level of state oversight, irregular practices and mismanagement continue to occur. This study examines the independent auditor findings in professionally administered governments in North Carolina. Findings indicate numerous reporting problems within a majority of county governments ranging from internal control problems to reconciliation issues that are required to be addressed for information users that question the sustainability of the unit. Lengthy audits processes, less expensive audits and smaller governments that do not have the ability to employ more accountants or accounting specialists are among the factors that increase the probability of reporting problems and inaccurate data.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2005

Caroline Nyman, Fredrik Nilsson and Birger Rapp

In Sweden there is an ongoing debate on ways to enhance accountability and transparency in order to avoid future scandals both in private companies and local government

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2385

Abstract

Purpose

In Sweden there is an ongoing debate on ways to enhance accountability and transparency in order to avoid future scandals both in private companies and local government. Until now the debate has had clear political overtones, and there are no generally accepted methods for analysis of this issue. The purpose of the article is to survey and analyze the chain of accountability to be reviewed by the auditors and through the use of principal‐agent (PA) theory to identify the problems that may arise in holding persons accountable.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper shows how PA theory can be used to structure and analyse the intricate situation in Swedish local government. The model is particularly suitable in complex systems of accountability. Therefore, the paper explores two cases where the outcomes were discharge from liability. Based on the two case studies, the paper extends the empirical investigation to a list of 63 qualified audit reports in local government for 2002 and 2003.

Findings

PA theory facilitated the understanding and structuring of the complex accountability situation and helped to identify important weaknesses in the system. The analysis underscored that neither better accounting nor better auditing systems alone will resolve the dilemma in improving accountability. The link between auditors and elected officials and civil servants needs to be investigated and clarified. Among other things, this means that the focus of today's debate should shift toward the lack of clear responsibilities within local governments.

Research limitations/implications

This paper explores an area of research where few studies have previously been conducted – therefore, the paper is to some extent exploratory. In the future the number of empirical examples could be increased, and the different problems in the system of accountability in local government could be discussed in more detail.

Practical implications

This research paper is based on an empirical investigation – as far as we know no such study has previously been performed in Sweden The principle of public access to information in Sweden provides unique opportunities for openly studying the work of auditors in the system.

Originality/value

The research shows that PA theory may be used to structure complex issues of accountability. In addition, the study recommends a new focus for the debate on accountability.

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Jean X. Zhang and Kevin T. Rich

We investigate whether council audit committees relate to municipal fiscal policies. We find that municipalities with audit committees are associated with greater levels…

Abstract

We investigate whether council audit committees relate to municipal fiscal policies. We find that municipalities with audit committees are associated with greater levels of own-source revenue, in that they finance municipal operations with locally raised revenues driven by charges and fees compared to municipalities without audit committees. Furthermore, municipalities with audit committees are associated with less new debt than those without audit committees, indicating more conservative use of external financing. Overall, our results are consistent with municipal audit committees, in addition to monitoring the financial reporting function, playing an advisory role in fiscal decisions, especially when the cost of local government to citizens is high.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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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

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Stephen Kwamena Aikins

This research determines the impact of local government’s internal audit process on the audit client management’s adoption of audit recommendations. Publicity of financial…

Abstract

This research determines the impact of local government’s internal audit process on the audit client management’s adoption of audit recommendations. Publicity of financial and operational problems in government in recent years has led to concerns about the quality of government audits, the extent of public managers’ adoption of audit recommendations, as well as citizen demand for accountability in government. In spite of this, the importance of the government audit process in ensuring accountability has gained little attention in public management research. A survey of local government audit executives was conducted to determine various aspects of the local government internal audit process and their relationships with audit client management’s adoption of audit recommendations. Results show that client management’s adoption of audit recommendation is a function of auditor professional designation, due diligence, client relations, documentation and tracking of audit recommendations, as well as of follow-up audits to verify implementation of agreed-upon action plans.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1996

Laurence E. Johnson

This paper presents a study of the audit delay experienced by 289 U.S. local governments. The study extends prior research by considering explanatory variables thought to…

Abstract

This paper presents a study of the audit delay experienced by 289 U.S. local governments. The study extends prior research by considering explanatory variables thought to be correlates of audit quality and by comparing city and county delay. Models of audit delay and audit fees are estimated using two-stage least squares regression. The study finds that audit delay is positively associated with correlates of audit quality and that cities experience less delay than do counties. The results indicate that, while audit fees have no explanatory power concerning audit delay, delay exerts a positive influence on fees.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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