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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 April 2021

Lucia Biondi, Fabio Giulio Grandis and Giorgia Mattei

Within the stream of research on public sector accounting standards, heritage asset accounting represents a difficult and challenging issue. This paper intends to join the debate…

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Abstract

Purpose

Within the stream of research on public sector accounting standards, heritage asset accounting represents a difficult and challenging issue. This paper intends to join the debate on heritage reporting by carrying out a critical review of the Consultation Paper (CP) “Financial Reporting for Heritage in the Public Sector” issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) in order to highlight its strengths and weaknesses and to make recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

To this end, the current study adopts document analysis as a qualitative research method by referring to Italy as a typical and critical case study. Moreover, the authors actively took part in the Italian working group on heritage assets reporting, so they are well-informed people about the Italian point of view as well as the broad discussion underpinning the Italian response.

Findings

Evidence demonstrates that, although the proposals included in the CP represent a new step towards an organic regulation of heritage asset reporting, if these preliminary views are confronted with the reality of an emblematic context, as in the Italian case, much room for improvement remains regarding the definition, recognition, measurement and disclosure of such assets.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper lies in its contribution to overcoming the current controversial aspects of heritage assets reporting and the issuing of an accounting standard. In doing so, the authors also attempt to answer the call made by Anessi-Pessina et al. (2019) to investigate in detail an individual country experience to better understand the state of the art in national and international accounting standards on heritage assets.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 December 2023

Claudio Columbano, Lucia Biondi and Enrico Bracci

This paper aims to contribute to the debate over the desirability of introducing an accrual-based accounting system in the public sector by examining whether accrual-based…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to the debate over the desirability of introducing an accrual-based accounting system in the public sector by examining whether accrual-based accounting information is superior to cash-based information in the context of public sector entities.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper applies a quantitative research method to assess the degree of smoothness and relevance of the accrual components of income recorded by 302 entities of the Italian National Health Service (INHS) over the period 2014–2020.

Findings

The analysis reveals that net income is smoother than cash flows as a summary measure of economic results and that accounting for accruals improves the predictability of future cash flows. However, the authors' novel disaggregation of accrual accounts reveals that those accounts that contribute the most to making income smoother than cash flows – noncurrent assets and liabilities – are also those that contribute the least to predicting future cash flows.

Originality/value

The disaggregation of accrual accounts allows to identify the sources of the informational benefits of accrual accounting, and to document the existence of an informational “trade-off” between smoothness and relevance in the context of public sector entities.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 July 2020

Lucia Biondi, John Dumay and David Monciardini

Motivated by claims that the International Integrated Reporting Framework (IRF) can be used to comply with Directive 2014/95/EU (the EU Directive) on non-financial and diversity…

1703

Abstract

Purpose

Motivated by claims that the International Integrated Reporting Framework (IRF) can be used to comply with Directive 2014/95/EU (the EU Directive) on non-financial and diversity disclosure, the purpose of this study is to examine whether companies can comply with corporate reporting laws using de facto standards or frameworks.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted an interpretivist approach to research along with current regulatory studies that aim to investigate business compliance with the law using private sector standards. To support the authors’ arguments, publicly available secondary data sources were used, including newsletters, press releases and websites, reports from key players within the accounting profession, public documents issued by the European Commission and data from corporatergister.com.

Findings

To become a de facto standard or framework, a private standard-setter requires the support of corporate regulators to mandate it in a specific national jurisdiction. The de facto standard-setter requires a powerful coalition of actors who can influence the policymakers to allow its adoption and diffusion at a national level to become mandated. Without regulatory support, it is difficult for a private and voluntary reporting standard or framework to be adopted and diffused. Moreover, the authors report that the <IRF> preferences stock market capitalism over sustainability because it privileges organisational sustainability over social and environmental sustainability, emphasises value creation over holding organisations accountable for their impact on society and the environment and privileges the entitlements of providers of financial capital over other stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

The authors question the suitability of the goals of both the <IRF> and the EU Directive during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The planned changes to both need rethinking as we head into uncharted waters. Moreover, the authors believe that the people cannot afford any more reporting façades.

Originality/value

The authors offer a critical analysis of the link between the <IRF> and the EU Directive and how the <IRF> can be used to comply with the EU Directive. By questioning the relevance of the compliance question, the authors advance a critique about the relevance of these and other legal and de facto frameworks, particularly considering the more pressing needs that must be met to address the economic, social and environmental implications of the COVID-19 crisis.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 March 2023

Lucia Biondi, Fabio Giulio Grandis and Daniele Vari

This book chapter intends to analyse a particular measurement basis, namely the ‘value in use’, regarding its definition and application in the public sector context. To this end…

Abstract

This book chapter intends to analyse a particular measurement basis, namely the ‘value in use’, regarding its definition and application in the public sector context. To this end, the current study assesses the development of a measurement practice in a particular jurisdiction, that is, Italy, compared with requirements in current International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSASs), in order to explore its suitability and practicability for a specific category of public sector assets, namely heritage assets.

Details

Measurement in Public Sector Financial Reporting: Theoretical Basis and Empirical Evidence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-162-5

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 March 2023

Josette Caruana, Marco Bisogno and Mariafrancesca Sicilia

This introductory chapter elaborates on the tricky issue of measurement in public sector financial reporting, which arises due to the particular features of the public sector when…

Abstract

This introductory chapter elaborates on the tricky issue of measurement in public sector financial reporting, which arises due to the particular features of the public sector when compared to the private sector. It provides a summary of the book chapters, highlighting the theoretical/practical frameworks used, methodologies and conclusions. Three themes are identified in the book, namely, (a) frameworks and methodologies; (b) measuring and reporting the elements in financial statements; and (c) heritage. This chapter identifies important avenues for further research.

Details

Measurement in Public Sector Financial Reporting: Theoretical Basis and Empirical Evidence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-162-5

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 March 2012

Mary Lee Rhodes, Lucia Biondi, Ricardo Gomes, Ana I. Melo, Frank Ohemeng, Gemma Perez‐Lopez, Andrea Rossi and Wayhu Sutiyono

This paper seeks to extend the analysis of performance management regimes by Bouckaert and Halligan to other countries in order to contribute to the developing theory of forms and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to extend the analysis of performance management regimes by Bouckaert and Halligan to other countries in order to contribute to the developing theory of forms and challenges in public sector performance management.

Design/methodology/approach

The state of performance management and the context in which it has evolved is assessed in seven different countries using dimensions drawn from Bouckaert and Halligan's work along with elements from earlier work by Pollitt and Bouckaert. These are summarized in a table and comparisons made to generate additional insights into the factors that influence the shape and speed of public management evolution.

Findings

The paper finds that the Bouckaert and Halligan framework for analyzing public sector performance management is useful, albeit with some modifications. Specifically, it finds that administrative culture is a key factor influencing the speed of reform and that the attitude of elites (politicians and civil servants, in most cases) is also a vital piece of the puzzle that was not included in Bouckaert and Halligan, but did appear in the earlier framework of Pollitt and Bouckaert. It also finds evidence that economic and political crises occurring together accelerate the introduction of integrated performance management systems, but that trust in government does not appear to be a significant factor. Finally, the paper observes that, absent political crisis/commitment, governments will prioritise “external” performance measures such as customer service, participation and transparency objectives over “internal” performance measures such as financial, staff management and whole of government reporting.

Originality/value

The countries studied provide a rare insight into lesser‐known performance management regimes and the use of the Bouckaert and Halligan framework allows for comparisons to earlier (and future) research. The findings will be of interest to scholars in public administration reform and performance management.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 61 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Lucia Biondi and Irvine Lapsley

This paper aims at offering a contribution which addresses one particular issue – heritage assets – as an exemplar of the challenges facing accounting practices in achieving…

3282

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims at offering a contribution which addresses one particular issue – heritage assets – as an exemplar of the challenges facing accounting practices in achieving transparency in government and public services.

Design/methodology/approach

After having identified three levels of transparency, a documentary analysis is used as the primary research method.

Findings

The investigation carried out reveals that the first level, or minimal level, of transparency is unlikely to be achieved for public organizations with heritage assets, mainly due to deep seated, pernicious problems of asset recognition and valuation.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the debate on what constitutes “good public governance” by examining whether accounting can foster or enhance “good governance” through the lens of transparency.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 20 March 2023

Abstract

Details

Measurement in Public Sector Financial Reporting: Theoretical Basis and Empirical Evidence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-162-5

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 March 2022

Marco Papa, Mario Carrassi, Anna Lucia Muserra and Monika Wieczorek-Kosmala

To determine whether to entrust the European Union (EU) to create a new nonfinancial reporting framework or endorse the extant reporting framework developed by the Global…

2707

Abstract

Purpose

To determine whether to entrust the European Union (EU) to create a new nonfinancial reporting framework or endorse the extant reporting framework developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), this study aims to explore whether the mandatory implementation of the EU Directive positively impacted the GRI-based environmental disclosure.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors compared the pre- and post-EU Directive environmental disclosure of 16 Italian environmentally sensitive companies. The authors used an extended coding scheme and developed a unique scoring system to compare the quantitative and qualitative changes in environmental disclosure.

Findings

The analysis showed that the quantity of environmental disclosure increased after the mandatory EU Directive adoption. The most significant change was observed regarding the disclosure topics explicitly required by the Italian legislature. Additionally, disclosure of soft information continued to prevail over that of hard information in the post-Directive period. While the Directive boosted the level of adherence to GRI standards, Italian companies disclosed information that could be easily mimicked (soft) instead of objective measures that could be verified (hard). In light of this evidence, the endorsement of extant GRI standards could be a valuable option for enhancing the comparability and transparency of environmental disclosure.

Originality/value

This study used an original extended coding system and proposed related environmental disclosure indexes that allow monitoring changes in environmental disclosure over time. To the authors’ best knowledge, this study is one of the few that justifies the significant impact of regulation (here the EU Directive) on the increase in environmental disclosure and that uses hard and soft information typology to examine the quality of environmental disclosure.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 October 2020

Augustine Bala Nalah, Azman Azlinda and Singh Jamir Singh Paramjit

The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of harmful cultural practices and its implications on stigmatization and the spread of HIV infection among people diagnosed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of harmful cultural practices and its implications on stigmatization and the spread of HIV infection among people diagnosed with HIV in North Central Nigeria. It will help to identify the cultural values that pose a threat to the social, health and psychological well-being of the members of the society. This study will provide recommendations through educational teachings to community leaders and policymakers for health-care protection through Human Rights Act.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses the qualitative phenomenological research design through a face-to-face in-depth interview to collect data using the audio recorder and field notes. Purposive sampling technique was used to recruit, from three selected hospitals, 20 participants aged 18 years–56 years who gave their consent by filling the informed consent form between April 2019 and July 2019. The data collected were analyzed through thematic analysis using ATLAS.ti 8 software. Also, thematic network analysis was used to visualize the themes, sub-themes and quotations.

Findings

The study findings indicate that sociocultural factors and HIV stigma in Nigeria are significant psychosocial problems that have adverse implications for health and psychological well-being. These problems contribute to the harmful traditional practices, thereby making people vulnerable to contracting HIV infection. The nontherapeutic practices of female genital mutilation, sexual intercourse during menstruation and tribal marks or scarification cause medical complications such as vesicovaginal fistula, rectovaginal fistula and HIV infection. Also, the practice of 18 months of sexual abstinence during breastfeeding predisposes couples to extramarital affairs and HIV infections. The findings also reveal that lack of education contributes to gender inequality.

Originality/value

The research uses a scientific method using ATLAS.ti 8 software for the transcription, organization and thematic analysis of the qualitative data. The study findings will benefit specifically the young girls and women who are usually the victims of the harmful cultural practices of female genital mutilation, gender inequality, sexual intercourse during menstruation and lack of female education in North Central Nigeria. Also, this study will serve as a relevant document and guide for policy implementation of Human and Child Rights Acts against all harmful cultural practices and gender inequality.

Details

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4902

Keywords

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